Microsuction and Ear Irrigation by HAB Hearing
At HAB Hearing, one of the methods of ear wax removal we use is microsuction. In fact, microsuction is our first and preferred choice, if you like the ‘gold standard’. We offer other methods as well where necessary. We also offer ear irrigation and dry removal.
Ear irrigation is the more modern and safer version of ear syringing but it’s a bit messy. It usually needs a few days of olive oil. Microsuction does not. Dry removal is removing ear wax and debris manually with an instrument. We sometimes complement microsuction with ear irrigation and dry removal if needed.
What is Microsuction?
We undertake microsuction under magnification with a medical suction device. Hence the term microsuction. A very thin wand type fitting is attached to the end of a suction tube which allows us to gently remove the earwax from the ear canal. A little like a mini vacuum cleaner.
Usually micro suction does not need pre-treatment with oil or drops – no mess!
We examine your ear canal under magnification and, using the fine low pressure suction device, safely remove the blockage. Also, using a video otoscope we can show you the condition of the ear before and after the treatment.
Microsuction is the safest and most comfortable method of earwax removal. No liquids are used during the procedure. This means that there is no fuss or mess during the procedure.
We can clearly see the ear canal and more importantly see exactly what we are doing. This makes it an exceptionally safe procedure. It is typically a comfortable process and it is usually undertaken in a few minutes making it a same day service.
What is Ear Irrigation?
Ear irrigation replaces the old fashioned technique of ear syringing and is safer.
We use an electronic ear irrigation machine that contains a water storage reservoir unit and a hand-held nozzle which gently pumps water into the ear canal at a controlled and steady rate.
The water is warmed to a comfortable temperature (around 37 degrees which is body temperature) before the procedure begins. If the water is too cold or too warm ear irrigation can be uncomfortable and create a dizzy spell.
We pull the external ear up and back gently and aim the nozzle of the sprayer slightly upwards and backwards. The water flows along the roof of the ear canal and out of the canal along its floor taking wax and debris with it. The wax and debris is captured in a flask called a noots tank.
With ear irrigation you may need to apply Earol (clinically treated olive oil) for a couple of days before the treatment if the wax needs to be softened.
Is Ear Syringing different from Ear Irrigation?
Ear syringing is an old fashioned method of removing ear wax. Rather than using an irrigation machine that can control the flow and pressure of water to wash the wax / debris out of your ear canal a large syringe is used. It can be difficult to control the pressure of the water pumped into the ear. The chances of causing damage to the ear canal or even perforating the ear drum itself are increased.
We would not recommend this type of procedure. If you have a bad experience with syringing in the past you can be assured that microsuction and irrigation are much more comfortable. It’s extremely rare to find this method being used any more.
Ear Wax Self Removal and Self Syringing?!
You may have seen remedies advertised on the internet where you use a low cost device remove the wax from your own ears, you can’t see what you are doing and it is quite easy to damage your ear, please avoid!
Also, avoid putting anything into your ear canal smaller than your own elbow (quoting an old saying). It is not a good idea. We sometimes hearing of people using hair grips, keys, the ends of their glasses to attempt wax removal, it makes me cringe to think about it!
The skin surface of the ear canal is quite delicate and can tear. This leaves you open to ear infections if you poke about in there. Also potentially pushing the ear wax in your canal further down and impacting it into a solid plug.
Let’s not even talk about the possibility of perforating your ear drum!
We also see bulbs advertised on Amazon and eBay. The idea being you fill the bulb with water and squirt it into your ear canal and dislodge the wax / debris yourself. It is quite a risky strategy.
Difficult to control the pressure of water into your ear canal and you can’t see what you are doing at all.
We advise leaving it to the professionals, we know what we are doing and we can apply the necessary care and attention. Your ears deserve it!
Hopi Ear Candles – are they a good idea?
Also known as an ear cone, an ear candle is a thin, hollow tube of linen or muslin cloth, soaked in paraffin or beeswax and tapered at one end. Hopi candles are typically scented with herbs, honey, or aromatherapy oils.
The basic claim is that the heat from the flame melts and loosens the ear wax and creates negative pressure that ‘sucks’ the wax into the candle – the ‘chimney effect’.
At best hopi ear candles could be described as ineffective quackery – at worst dangerous. Read this. Hot wax from the ear candle dripping into the ear canal, not a particularly good idea!
The American Academy of Otolarynology states that ear candles are not a safe option for removing ear wax and that no controlled studies or scientific evidence support their use for ear wax removal.
The Food and Drug Administration has successfully taken several regulatory actions against the sale and distribution of ear candles since 1996, including seizing ear candle products and ordering injunctions!
Where are we based?
Our ear wax removal clinic performing microsuction, ear irrigation and dry removal is based in Silsden. We are 10 minutes from Keighley, Ilkley and Skipton. We are also handily close for ear wax removal to Colne, Burnley, Otley and Bradford. (Less than half an hour away).
Further afield, we are less than 3/4 of an hour travelling distance by car for ear wax removal services from Harrogate, Leeds and Halifax. Our base is in West Yorkshire and East Lancashire and parts of North Yorkshire are easily accessible. We have ample parking.
So if you REALLY need that wax blockage clearing quickly, efficiently, and safely with state of the art equipment in suitable premises then book yourself in!
For more information including how to book an appointment click this link.
Our next post will answer some general questions about ear wax removal.