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Microsuction for Earwax Removal – What is it?

What does it treat?

Ear wax build-up is one of the most common conditions around the world; in the UK, it is estimated that 2.3 million people per year have problems with ear wax.  This figure, while concerning, is potentially much higher as many cases go undiagnosed.

In the United States the story is a similar one, with up to 12 million effected a year. Indeed, that’s why in 2020 a research review commissioned by PubMed Central found out that some 150,000 ear wax removals are performed each and every week.

Build-up can cause some serious effects, too: from tinnitus to hearing loss to earache, it can become an extremely uncomfortable and distressing condition. Removal techniques vary, but the most common are ear wax softeners, ear irrigation and, of course, microsuction.


What does it entail?

Also known as ear vacuuming, microsuction ear wax removal is the most commonly used manual technique that your doctor is likely to recommend. The procedure is relatively simple: a slender nozzle is inserted gently into the ear so that the excess wax can be siphoned out using a miniature vacuum. The entire process lasts only a few moments, and, once the wax is dislodged, our audiologist will remove it with either the vacuum itself or a small pair of forceps. An alternative version, which uses an endoscope for increased accuracy, is also available at Hear4U.


How effective is it?

A study in 2014 indicated that the procedure was up to 91% effective at removing build-up in a sample of 159 people. It has additional benefits compared to the alternatives, too: the speed, precision and lack of moisture involved means that microsuction can be performed on people with a history of ear surgery, an outer ear infection or even a ruptured eardrum. However, the process is not without its drawbacks and you should always consult with our healthcare professionals before undergoing treatment.


Are there any side effects?

The procedure, while effective, can have mild side effects such as dizziness, discomfort, reduced hearing and/or increased sensitivity to audio stimulus. Thankfully, much of these effects are only temporary and the process itself should be completely painless. Injury and infection are extremely rare, but you should always inform our specialists should you experience any discomfort.


How safe is it?

Overall microsuction is one of the safest, most comfortable and speediest ways to remove ear wax build up. If you’re interested to find out more, book an appointment or simply have some questions regarding your suitability, then do get in touch with our experts on 01455 234 600.