Wax Microsuction

Ear wax blockage affects about 6% of people and is one of the most common ear problems doctors see. Though ear wax does possess some protective properties, excess or compacted wax can occlude the ear canal and press against the eardrum, which may impair hearing. This is when it needs to be removed.

What is Wax Microsuction?

The Wax Microsuction clinic at LycaHealth Canary Wharf, in association with London Ear Centre, offers a comprehensive service for same day, efficient management of problematic ear wax. Our expert Audiologists use this gold standard wax removal method to ensure that any build-up of ear wax is removed as quickly and as safely as possible.

Symptoms of ear wax build-up

  • A blocked sensation or fullness in the ear
  • Ear pain/discomfort
  • Hearing loss
  • Ringing in the ear (Tinnitus)
  • Itching or drainage from the ear canal
  • Vertigo or dizziness

When you choose to book your Wax Microsuction appointment with us, you will have a mini-consultation where you’ll receive advice about your outer and middle ear health before having the problematic wax removed on the same day.

Should further hearing evaluation be required, this can be arranged in the clinic on the same day. LycaHealth offers further evaluations such as hearing tests and more detailed medical consultations, where required.

Available at the following clinic

Canary Wharf

0207 132 1440

Open Mon – Fri 8AM to 8PM

 

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Our trained Audiologists can help ease the pain and treat the ears accordingly and microsuction is a non-invasive procedure that is a way of clearly identifying if the ear has any further issues or infections.

To get access and advice from our audiology professionals, please fill out our enquiry form and a member of the team will be in touch shortly. Alternatively call our team on 0207 132 1440.

Frequently asked questions

Unlike traditional methods of wax removal, like Syringing, Wax Microsuction involves the use of an air suction device at low operating pressure to remove wax from the ear, all performed under an operating microscope with full visualisation of the ear canal and ear drum.

This enables the clinician to clearly identify any outer or middle ear pathology and effectively remove all of the wax without risk of damaging any part of the ear.

  • Conducted under a high-powered operating microscope (with full ear canal visualisation)
  • No water involved
  • Wax and other debris suctioned out fully
  • Clear specialised and assessed training guidelines on the procedure
  • Comfortable supine or seated position during the procedure
  • Relatively quick
  • Hygienic

It is the safest and quickest means to conveniently remove ear wax and allows full visualisation of the ear canal so that any touching of the sensitive skin layer or fine hairs within the ear canal can, in most instances, be avoided.

It is advised that everyone attending for wax micro-suctioning softens their wax with wax drops prior to attending. We advise all attending patients to use Earol Olive oil spray, which can be purchased from most pharmacies.

Ear wax (Cerumen) is an amalgamation of substances, predominantly waxy oils and dead skin cells (Keratinocytes). It also contains traces of sebum in the mix, along with other substances such as squalene, cholesterol and triglyceride. It is a by-product of the thousands of Ceruminous glands (specialised sweat glands), which lie under the skin of the ear canal and drain into the guard hairs lining the ear canal.

  • Narrow ear canals or ear canals that aren’t fully formed
  • Hairy ear canals
  • Bony growths in the outer part of your ear canal – these are called osteomata
  • A skin condition of your scalp or pre-auricular area
  • Hard Wax
  • History of recurrent impacted earwax
  • Repeated ear infections
  • Using cotton buds – they can push ear wax deeper into your ear and pack it together harder, creating an ear wax plug
  • Wearing a hearing aid or earplugs, which can stop ear wax falling out of your ear naturally
  • Being elderly – ear wax becomes drier with age, making ear wax issues more common

Microsuction is now the preferred method of wax removal due to being safer and more comfortable.

Syringing is the traditional method of wax removal. It involves water being injected into the ear canal at high pressure, with the aim of trying to get behind the wax to force it out as the water seeps out of the ear canal. There are a number of problems associated with this method of wax removal:

  • The procedure is done blind (without full ear canal visualisation), increasing the risk of a clinical error
  • Involves water entering the ear canal which creates a higher risk of ear infections
  • High pressure of water injection has a risk of perforating the eardrum
  • Lack of proper specialised training guidelines on procedure
  • The procedure can cause discomfort or pain
  • No guarantee all the wax is removed

People with the following conditions are advised to use the Microsuction procedure to remove wax/debris from their ears to avoid further complications:

  • Perforated/damaged ear drum(s)
  • Outer ear infection (Otitis Externa)
  • History of outer/middle ear surgery
  • Osteoma/Exostosis (bony growths in the ear canal)
  • Stenotic (narrow) ear canals
  • Regular wax build-up
  • Ear pain/sensitivity (otalgia)
  • Eczema/dermatitis in the ear canal
  • Hearing aid users

We will perform a middle ear pressure test (Tympanometry) once all the wax has been extracted as part of the procedure to ensure that the health of the middle ear can be assessed. This test displays how healthily the eardrums are moving, and provides an indication of the overall health of the middle ear.

A report sheet is then supplied detailing the appearance of the ear canal and eardrum post-microsuctioning, along with the results from tympanometry. If any abnormality is detected, this will be documented and you will be referred to an ENT Consultant for more specialist treatment. LycaHealth has a variety of ENT specialists to choose from.

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