Ear wax removal
Ear wax removal using microsuction is the safest and easiest way to have wax removed from your ears. There is rarely a need for you to use oil prior to the appointment. During the procedure a fine low pressure suction device is inserted into the ear to remove the wax. The procedure is pain free. Video otoscopy allows you to see your ear on a screen before and after treatment (if you would like).
If you wear hearing aids, please bring them with you so that your earmoulds and hearing aid filters can be changed if appropriate, for free.
Syringing, where water is used to irrigate the ear, is not widely used as microsuction is deemed the gold standard. At Ear Sense, we may offer syringing or dry-tool wax removal, or a combination of methods if this the most suitable way to remove the wax from your ears. A full explanation is given before any treatment commences. Pricing is the same whichever method is used.
£60 per appointment
If no wax is found, a £15 'consultation and examination' fee is payable.
What is ear wax and why do we have it?
The ear canal is, on average, 22.5mm long in adults. It is lined with hair follicles and also contains glands that produce a waxy oil called cerumen (earwax). Whilst too much earwax may cause problems for some, earwax does have some protective properties. It acts as a filter which prevents harmful things like bugs, sand and dirt from entering the ear and reaching our eardrum. It is also antimicrobial which means the earwax has substances in it that prevent infections from entering the body. In addition, the ear canal is self-cleaning which is why it is really important not to use cotton buds. The cotton is abrasive against the glands within the ear canal lining and can cause itching, bleeding and infection as well as pushing the ear wax further into the ear canal. This creates an added risk of damaging the ear drum (tympanic membrane) at the end of the ear canal.
Methods of wax removal
If you've ever had wax removed from your ears, you will know that there are different methods that can be used. These are microsuction, syringing and removal using specifically designed dry removal tools. Whilst the gold standard and most common method now is microsuction, there is a place for each of these methods depending on a number of factors. The age of the patient, the consistency of the wax, whether the patient has learning difficulties, whether there is a perforated ear canal, whether the patient has an active ear infection or has suffered ear infections in the past, whether the patient has a middle ear implant, if they have an abnormal ear canal....the list really does go on. It is important to point out that all the methods are safe for your ears if conducted by a suitably qualified practitioner.
What can I do about ear wax in between appointments?
As mentioned, the ear canal is self-cleaning which is why it is really important not to use cotton buds. The cotton is abrasive against the glands within the ear canal lining and can cause itching, bleeding and infection as well as pushing the ear wax further into the ear canal. This creates an added risk of damaging the ear drum (tympanic membrane) at the end of the ear canal. I normally recommend using some olive oil drops a couple of days each month to assist the self-cleaning process. It may prevent you from returning for further ear wax removal but if it doesn't, it will almost certainly extend the time in between appointments.