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Microsuction of the ear canal

Are you suffering from pain, issues with hearing or ringing in your ears due to ear wax build-up? Microsuction can remove ear wax and the symptoms that accompany it.

What is ear canal microsuction?

Ear canal microsuction is a quick, day-case procedure which aims to remove ear wax using a high-powered microscope and a suction pipe. Due to its effectiveness, painlessness, and safety, microsuction is the most common way to remove ear wax build-up from the ear canal.

I have a question about ear canal microsuction

Why would I have ear canal microsuction?

Earwax build-up can happen to anyone. However, it’s more likely to occur in certain types of people:

  • Those who use hearing aids, ear plugs or ear buds
  • Older people
  • People with a lot of ear hair or who have certain skin conditions
  • Those who put cotton swabs or other items in their ears
  • People with developmental disabilities
  • People with ear canals shaped in such a way as to interfere with natural wax removal

Is microsuction safer than syringing?

Ear syringing isn’t as effective or accurate as microsuction. During ear syringing an electric pump is used with the correct water pressure. Warm water is gently squirted into your ear canal to flush the ear wax out. This procedure loosens the softened wax which then falls out with the water.

The benefits of choosing ear canal microsuction over other forms of ear wax removal:

  • More precise, as the audiologist is looking directly into your ear canal with tools such as a microscope
  • Gentle, effective and safe procedure – it isn’t painful and is over in minutes
  • There is less risk of infection, unlike ear syringing and ear irrigation, as these are based on putting water into the ears, which can cause infection

What is earwax build-up?

Earwax is produced by the body in the outer part of the ear canal to protect the ears. Earwax is made up of dead skin cells and hair that is combined with the discharge from two different glands. Earwax is impacted when it has built up in the ear canal to such a point when you may start getting signs that something isn’t right.

What are the symptoms of earwax build-up and blockage?

  • A feeling of fullness in your ear
  • Pain in your ear (earache)
  • Ringing in your ear (tinnitus)
  • Dizziness
  • Discharge or odour coming from the ear
  • A feeling of itchiness in your ear
  • Difficulty hearing which may get worse

How is earwax build-up diagnosed?

Your GP or Consultant can determine whether you have earwax blockage by looking in your ear with an otoscope – a special instrument that lights and magnifies your inner ear.

What happens during ear canal microsuction?

Ear canal microsuction is usually done as a day case procedure which usually takes 15-20 minutes.

During microsuction, your ENT Consultant will use a microscope to examine your ear canal. They will insert a tiny suction tube into the canal and suction any ear wax blockage from the area. Sometimes sterile saline solution can be used to break up the wax further. During the procedure, you may hear some clicking, popping or a suction sound.

Is ear microsuction painful?

Most people don’t experience any discomfort during ear canal microsuction. It is a very soothing, gentle procedure that immediately restores hearing and even can alleviate tinnitus. 

What should I expect after ear canal microsuction?

Sometimes microsuction causes dizziness immediately following the procedure. You will be asked to sit still for a few minutes to make sure that you don’t have any balance problems.

Our ENT Consultants

Mr Balfour

Alistair Balfour

Consultant ENT Surgeon

Mr Balfour's specialties include thyroid surgery, head and neck surgery and rhinology.

Mr Fu

Bertram Fu

ENT Consultant

Mr Fu is a qualified Rhinologist with a special interest in nasal and sinus conditions. His specialities include otolaryngology and rhinology.

Mr Sharp

Henry Sharp

Consultant ENT Surgeon

Mr Sharp's specialties include rhinology and non-cosmetic nasal plastic surgery.

Mr Joseph Wasson

Joseph Wasson

Consultant ENT Surgeon

Mr Wasson's specialties include otology, rhinology, general ENT, balance and hearing implant surgery.

Mr Christopher Theokli

Christopher Theokli

Consultant ENT/Head and Neck Surgeon

Mr Theokli is an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist with over 10 years of experience working in this field.

Mr Robert Hone, ENT Consultant

Robert Hone

ENT Consultant

Mr Robert Hone is a ENT Consultant at Benenden Hospital

Contact us about microsuction of the ear canal

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