Water Irrigation/ Ear Syringing
Water irrigation earwax removal is a tried-and-tested method that millions have used and recommend.
What is Water Irrigation?
Previously known as ear syringing, which involved spraying water directly into the ear in order to loosen and flush out impacted wax, ‘water irrigation’ is the term for the more modern variant.
Water irrigation aims for a similar conclusion to water syringing but employs a much more controlled manner.
Water Irrigation and Syringing
Ear wax removal by water irrigation is also commonly referred to as ‘ear syringing’.
Ear irrigation employs a specialised electronic tool – snappily titled an ‘ear irrigator’ – which controls and maintains both the flow and temperature of the water for a precise procedure.
In addition, the device aims for the wall of the ear to avoid the eardrum as much as possible.
What Happens During a Water Irrigation Appointment?
At Hear4U our Audiologist or nurse will begin your appointment by going through your medical history and a consent form as well as any previous history of earwax removal. 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 only once the ears have been cleared!).
The procedure will then be explained to you and so that you do not get wet a towel will be placed over your shoulder and you will be asked to hold a cup against your jaw under your ear to catch the water flushing from the ear canal. Once the canal has been cleared, the audiologist will dry your ear with cotton wool and show you your ear canal on the screen. You will be taken through how to look after your ears after water irrigation. 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.
Some key advantages of Water Irrigation are as follows:
- Irrigation can often remove sticky wax that Microsuction cannot remove – sticky wax can continuously block a suction tube.
- It is generally a faster procedure than Microsuction.
- It’s a lower cost option compared with Microsuction and Endoscopic Microsuction.
What Happens Afterwards?
It is important that you should keep your ears from getting wet for 7 days after you have had Water Irrigation treatment. Place some cotton wool at the entrance of the ear canal before showering and do not submerge your head into the water.
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 one of our trained staff.
What If My Ears Still Feel Full?
There are a few reasons that your ears could still feel blocked after Water Irrigation:
- Having blocked ears for weeks or months can cause a lot of pressure to build up, which will then 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 it being full.
- Hearing loss that is related to wear-and-tear typically begins with the loss of higher frequencies of sound. This causes a muffled feeling and/or the lack of clarity in speech. It may be that even though some of your hearing has been restored after Water Irrigation has removed a blockage, you have an underlying hearing loss condition. You can speak to the audiologist who conducted your wax removal appointment to find out more about this and they can offer you a hearing test.
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