Ear wax – also known as cerumen - is a natural antibacterial lubricant made in the outer ear canal. Usually, ear wax naturally makes its way out of the ear canal. But some people are prone to excess wax build-up. It’s one of the most common ear-related conditions.
Common complaints include partial hearing loss, a sense of ear fullness, earache, dizziness, ringing in the ears (Tinnitus). Other problems that might occur include odour or discharge from your ear, cough, ear pain, or fever.
Most GPs will treat a blocked ear with an ear syringe, which is a pressurised device that flushes out the ear with water. This isn’t always effective, and can lead to infection or damage to the eardrum. Microsuction, by contrast, is gentle, dry, precise and safe – the gold standard for ear wax removal.
Yes. Medical specialists around the world regard aural microsuction as the safest, most effective choice for cleaning ears (also known as ‘dewaxing’). Usually the procedure is very quick, easy and gives you instant relief. At our ear wax removal clinic in Melbourne we have performed this proceedure countless times with great results. Microsuction can be used even if the eardrum has been previously perforated. It is useful in removing excessive discharge caused by ear infection and it can also remove foreign bodies.
The length of your treatment will depend on the degree of blockage, so please allow for up to 30 minutes in your schedule. Usually you can expect amazing results within half that time.
Everyone produces ear wax at a different rate. If you’re prone to build-up, you’ll need microsuction more frequently. In general, it’s good to have a regular check-up every 6 to 12 months for good ear wax management and to prevent any issues.
Babies and children will need to be able to keep their head still during the procedure, so microsuction is safe for all ages.
Usually microsuction does not need pre-treatment, if you feel your ears are severely blocked you may use some olive oil for up to three days before the appointment to soften any wax build-up to make it easier to remove.
In short, no. Cotton buds are most likely to simply push the wax further in. Over time, this can create severe build-up of cerumen, damage the soft tissues in your ear canal and even puncture the eardrum. So as the saying goes, never put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear!
Ear candles are more dangerous than they look. They can cause burns to your face, hair, scalp, ear canal and eardrum. You’ll also introduce traces of candle wax into the ear canal, and can risk perforating your eardrum. Ultimately, research has shown that ear candles don’t work – so avoid them.