There are many different types of ear wax removal with some being much more effective and safer than others. Below we will discuss each of these methods:
Our ears are usually very good at cleaning themselves. When you find bits of ear wax in the outer opening of your ear this is actually the ear removing the ear wax by itself. When this happens we can simply remove it by using a cloth or rinsing the ear wax away in the shower. However sometimes our ears can produce too much ear wax and it ends up creating a blockage, when this happens help is needed to remove the excess.
Many people use cotton buds to remove excess ear wax but the problem with this method is that you usually actually only remove a small amount, seen on the cotton bud, and instead push more ear wax further into the ear canal leading to a blockage. This method also runs the risk of damaging the eardrum if the cotton bud is pushing in too far.
Ear candling involves placing a hollow cone candle in your ear whilst the other end is lit. The claim is that suction is created from lighting the candle and thus the ear wax is pulled out from the inner ear. This however is not true and many scientific studies have shown this method to be very ineffective and also dangerous with the risk of causing damage to your ears and the potential for serious burns.
Often mistaken for ear irrigation, this method was once the recommended way to remove excess ear wax. In recent times safer and more effective methods have been developed and this type of ear wax removal is not recommended anymore. Complications possible from ear syringing include perforation of the eardrum, otitis external, pain, vertigo and also tinnitus.
Ear irrigation was the evolution of ear syringing and instead of using the old-style metal syringe, this procedure uses a pressure controlled electric irrigator. Starting on the lowest pressure the audiologist will begin to gently disturb and break up the ear wax by squirting the controlled stream into your ear canal. If the ear wax is very compact the pressure can be safely increased to help remove the stubborn wax. The procedure is pain-free and the water temperature used is near body temperature meaning it will not feel too hot or too cold.
Microsuction is considered the gold standard of ear wax removal and is the most comfortable, effective and safest way to remove ear wax. Skilled clinicians use a suction device to draw the wax out from the ear and unlike ear irrigation, no water is required, meaning no mess. This procedure is very quick and usually only takes a few minutes per ear meaning you can be treated in no time at all.
If you have a blocked ear or have developed sudden hearing loss book in to see one of our expert audiologists today. We will check your ear for any issues and if ear wax is found we will use microsuction ear wax removal to remove the excess ear wax.