Posted by Rosie Dooley, BSc (Hons) Audiology, RHAD on February 19, 2020
Microsuction is an ear wax removal service that we proudly offer at all our Hear4U branches and in your own home if needed. It can often instantly relieve symptoms of aural fullness, hearing loss and discomfort caused by occluding ear wax.
Microsuction is a method of wax removal used by trained hearing care professionals. An ENT consultant can use Microsuction as well as any GP, specialist nurse or Audiologist who has completed Microsuction ear wax removal training. During Aural Microsuction, a small suction tube is used by the professional to remove any cerumen (ear wax), debris or foreign bodies from the ear canal.
At Hear4U the Audiologist or nurse will begin your appointment by going through your medical and consent form and discussing any wax removal history. Your ears will then be checked with an otoscope and you will be shown your ear canals on the TV screen with a video otoscope (only if you want to see. Some people prefer to see inside once the ears have been cleared!).
The procedure will then be explained to you and you will be asked to keep your head as still as possible throughout. Once the canal has been cleared, the Audiologist with show you your ear canal on the screen and talk about how to care for your ear post-procedure. The procedure is allotted 30 minutes but the time taken to clear your ears will depend on how blocked your ears are and how soft the wax or debris is.
We advise using olive oil drops for the three days prior to your wax removal appointment to help soften the wax. If you are desperate and able to get a same-day appointment however, oiling is not always necessary, and the Audiologist or nurse may be able to remove the wax anyway. Softening the wax does increase the likelihood of total removal on the first appointment, however, if the wax cannot be removed in full a second appointment is booked at no extra charge.
Over the counter drops such as Otex or Sodium Bicarbonate can offer some relief and soften the wax, however as the skin inside your ear canal is sensitive and can react very differently from person to person we do not recommend using anything other than olive oil before Aural Microsuction.
Caring for your ears after Microsuction is simple in that you should generally leave them be. It is fine to allow water into your ears immediately unless advised otherwise by your wax removal specialist. If you have had very large amounts of hard wax removed, you can experience a sore ear after the procedure – this will resolve in a few days and we would advise you not to put anything into your ear while it is settling. If you are experiencing prolonged moderate-severe pain, then you could have an underlying infection in which case we recommend you visit your GP or call us to check your ear.
There are a few reasons that your ears could still feel blocked after Microsuction. Firstly, having blocked ears for weeks/months can cause a lot of pressure to build up which will relieve once the blockage is removed but occasionally it can take time for this pressure to disperse.
If you have a prolonged feeling of fullness, it may be that you have congestion behind the eardrum, in which case removing blockages from the canal will not ease the feeling of being full.
Hearing loss that is related to wear and tear typically begins with a loss of the higher frequencies of sound. This causes a muffled feeling or the lack of clarity of speech. It may be that even though some of your hearing has been restored after Microsuction has removed a blockage, you have an underlying hearing loss. You can speak to the audiologist who conducted your micro-suction appointment to find out more about this and off you a hearing test.
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