Getting Ear Wax Removed? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Ear wax is a naturally occurring substance that helps keep ears clean and protect them from damage. However, sometimes too much wax can build up in the ear canal, causing blockage, discomfort, pain and even hearing loss. This is known medically as ear wax impaction. If at-home removal attempts have been unsuccessful, seeing a medical professional for ear wax removal may be necessary. For those considering professional ear wax removal, here is some helpful information on what to expect and key things to know beforehand.

Credit – Pexel

The Consultation

Before micro suction ear wax removal, the first part of the process is a consultation with the medical professional. They will discuss symptoms, examine the ears with an otoscope to assess the amount and location of built-up wax, and decide the best method for safe and effective removal. It’s important to give an accurate account of symptoms and any removal attempts at this point, as certain at-home methods can make professional removal more difficult. The professional will also take into account any history of ear problems.

Methods Used

There are several methods a professional may use to remove impacted ear wax. The main techniques are ear irrigation and micro suction.

Ear irrigation involves carefully syringing the ear using warm water or saline solution to flush out the wax. This is often an effective first option, but not suitable for everyone, such as people with a suspected punctured eardrum.

Micro suction ear wax removal uses a lightweight, handheld device with a gentle suction tip to carefully and precisely remove excess wax. This high precision method has a good success rate without requiring water or irrigation.

Protecting the Ear Drum

A key concern when removing ear wax is to avoid damaging the delicate skin of the ear canal and ear drum underneath the built-up wax. This is why it is very important ear wax removal is carried out by an appropriately qualified professional rather than attempting aggressive at-home methods. Experienced practitioners will have visual checks throughout the procedure and technique to remove blockages gently without causing harm.

Contraindications

While professional ear wax removal is generally very safe when performed correctly by a qualified person, there are some cases where they may decide it is not advisable or needs the input of an ENT specialist. For example, this includes patients with diabetes, a known hole or very recent injury to the ear drum, previous ear surgery and patients prone to ear infections. The professional will assess suitability and risks on a case-by-case basis.

Aftercare

Patients should carefully follow all aftercare directions from the medical professional, both immediately post-procedure and over the following days. Anti-inflammatory eardrops may be prescribed, and instructions provided about keeping ears dry. Be aware wax remnants can continue moving outwards for several days after the procedure. In rare cases, additional appointments may be required if wax removal was incomplete.

Consulting a knowledgeable, trained practitioner for excess ear wax removal provides the most optimal outcome in this necessary, but delicate process. They will have the experience, tools and techniques to clear blockages fully while minimising risks of complications.

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