A build-up of ear wax can lead to several discomforts in your day-to-day life, this can include Loss in hearing, aural fullness, tinnitus, and Earache. Ear wax removal
The most common procedure for wax removal is Microsuction. It is the safest and most efficient way in removing wax – it does not exacerbate any infections or induce vertigo (room spinning sensation) as it only uses suction.

Possible Risks:
  • The machine is loud
  • If the wax is stuck to the skin in the canal, when removing it, it can sometimes leave the canal being irritated or leaving a tiny nick in the canal. This is usually insignificant, and the Practitioner will have tools to investigate and advise accordingly.
  • If the wax is hard and it will not budge, therefore wax cannot be removed
Yes, Microsuction is considered gold standard in ear wax removal, as it is the only method of removal which is the safest when dealing with perforated ear drums; as well as discharge, previous ear surgery, otitis externa (infection of the ear canal).
Wax build up can often cause the perception of reduced hearing, as the wax would act as a blockage to the pathway of sound in your ear. Most people will feel a lot of relief once the wax has been removed and therefore the pathway being clear. However, there may be instances where you feel you still may not hear very clearly, here the audiologist may recommend you undergo further testing.
Everybody usually develops wax in the ear as a means for the ear to self-clean itself and prevent bacterial growth in the ear. It is usually a positive when some wax is present in the ear. However, it may be that this wax builds up and isn’t moved out of the ear as well as it should. Consequently, the wax builds up over time causing problems and the need for wax removal.
The timing of the appointment can vary from person to person depending on the condition of your wax. Usually when the wax is softened the appointment can be done in 20 minutes however it may be that a greater build-up of wax, or a narrower ear canal may take up to 45 minutes.
The procedure is performed by trained and experienced professionals who have an in-depth knowledge of the nature of the ear and its biology. The clinician will thoroughly take you through an in-depth case history and contra-indication check list at the consultation to ensure it is okay to proceed. The procedure is performed using magnifying loupes or a camera operated system which allows us to always have the wax and ear in our view, to ensure it is being performed correctly.
The Audiologist in the consultation will be able to show you before and after pictures to depict the removal. Moreover, most people who had wax completely blocking their ear(s), will report it feels less full/lighter. Earwax build up varies person to person, some people are prone to making a lot more wax than other due to the nature of their ear i.e. person having narrow ear canals. It is therefore difficult to dictate how long it will take for the wax to come back.
There are several reasons as to why you may have impacted wax, this can include:

  • Wearing hearing aids– this often blocks the pathway for wax to move around the ear canal

  • Excessive hair in the ear canal – this can mean that too much wax is being trapped in the canal reducing the ability of the wax to move out of the ear canal naturally

  • Narrow ear canals – The reduced canal diameter can mean a higher chance of wax becoming impacted

  • Using cotton buds – Using cotton buds for ears is a common misconception. Cotton buds often push wax further down the ear canal towards the ear drum causing the wax to become compact

  • Very dry/hard wax – Dry wax is common for all people as they get older. This type of wax is more stubborn in migrating naturally out of the ear.
There is not a lot we require from our patients for home visits as we bring everything that we may need. We do prefer carrying out the procedure on chairs rather than sofas as it stops us from sinking and enables eye level view of the ear canal – however, this is only preferred, we can make do if that is not possible.
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