Survey of Earwax Removal Outcomes

Brown-haired male having earwax removal by water irrigation

Hear4U has carried out a survey to evaluate the effectiveness of various earwax removal methods. The objective was to ascertain which techniques, individually or in combination, are most efficient.

Methodology: Analysing Earwax Removal Techniques

Earwax removal is a routine yet critical procedure within audiology. A variety of techniques are available, each with different approaches to removing earwax.

This study was designed to yield a direct comparison between microsuction and water irrigation – two of the most commonly adopted techniques. To objectively evaluate these methods, Hear4U reviewed the outcomes of the last 100 earwax removal treatments performed at our clinics. 

The survey focused on quantifiable outcomes such as the rate of successful earwax removal and the frequency of subsequent follow-up treatments.

Results: Comparative Effectiveness of Earwax Removal Techniques

  • Water irrigation demonstrated a 100% success rate in this survey, with none of the 22% of clients who selected this method requiring a follow-up appointment.
  • Microsuction was the most frequently chosen method, representing 62% of the client procedures; 3.2% of these clients needed a follow-up appointment to fully clear their earwax impaction.
  • The subset of clients (16%) who underwent both microsuction and water irrigation in one day did not require any follow-ups.


The survey results indicate that water irrigation, though less frequently selected by clients, resulted in no instances of follow-up treatments within the surveyed group. This suggests a high effectiveness of water irrigation for earwax removal when it is chosen. However, it is important to consider the potential influence of selection bias, as a lower percentage of clients opted for this method, which may affect follow-up rates. Further research could investigate the reasons behind water irrigation’s less common selection, including addressing any prevailing misconceptions or informational deficits.

While microsuction is a popular choice and has its place in ear care, the efficacy of water irrigation as evidenced in this survey suggests it may merit a broader application in clinical practice. It should be noted that water irrigation is contraindicated in certain conditions, such as the presence of a punctured eardrum, and is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

The survey results also revealed that clients who underwent both microsuction and water irrigation in the same session did not require follow-up treatments. This pattern suggests that combining these methods might provide a more comprehensive solution for earwax removal. It warrants further examination to understand the potential synergistic effects of using both techniques.