Micro-suction is a water free, safe and effective way to remove excess ear wax. At Earworx clinics, micro-suction and curettage is performed by qualified, registered nurses to assist people who are suffering from excessive earwax or earwax impaction. Micro-suction is widely considered a gentle and effective way to remove wax. Along with curettage (the use of fine instruments), it is the preferred wax removal method of Ear Nose and Throat surgeons. This procedure is now available in dedicated Earworx clinics which enables the avoidance of at-home remedies such as cotton buds which can often push wax further down the ear canal, worsening symptoms.
The Micro-Suction Procedure
Before the procedure begins, you will be required to fill out a questionnaire relating to your ear history. The questionnaire also includes questions about your current symptoms (such as hearing loss, itching, ringing or a feeling of blockage). Your experienced and highly trained registered nurse will then discuss this questionnaire with you. The nurse may also ask you further questions in a safe and confidential environment.
Your ear canal and eardrum will then be examined by inserting a speculum gently into your ear. At this point, it will be determined whether the amount of earwax you have necessitates the micro-suction procedure.
If wax removal is determined as being clinically indicated, the procedure will be explained and an opportunity to ask questions provided. A very small micro-suction catheter attached to suction tubing will then be inserted directly into your ear canal. It gently sucks excess ear wax out the ear – much like a tiny vacuum cleaner! Throughout the procedure, your nurse will carefully observe the process with ‘loupes’. Loupes are binocular glasses fitted with a bright light. They are used to ensure that direct vision of your ear canal and drum is maintained at all times.
Why Opt for Micro-Suction?
Micro-suction differs from have your ears syringed with water as it is a completely dry procedure. Whilst water syringing can be used to remove wax, it is not without its complications. It can be messy and uncomfortable. For some populations a dry technique is necessary or preferred, including those with a perforated eardrum or grommets, diabetics, those who have a depressed immune system or are taking blood thinners.
Micro-suction and curettage can also be used on people who have a current ear infection to remove debris related to infection and allow better penetration of prescribed ear drops. It can also be used to remove foreign bodies such as insects, cotton bud tips and dislodged hearing aid domes. Your Earworx registered nurse performs the whole procedure under direct vision. This makes the procedure very safe and ensures no wax is ‘left behind’.
The procedure itself is quite quick, especially if the wax has been pre-softened. Generally speaking, your nurse will have you in and out the door within half an hour. Sometimes for particularly dry and stubborn impacted wax, softening is required to make the procedure more comfortable. If this is the case, we can provide a complimentary return visit the following week.
Overall, micro-suction is often quick, well tolerated, and does not expose the ear to moisture. It has even been endorsed by the Tasmanian branch of the Australian Medical Association.
If you still have questions or concerns, feel free to contact the friendly Earworx team. We’re more than happy to help and assist you in relieving those wax-related symptoms.