Ear syringing Vs Microsuction – What is the difference?

When we experience a build-up of wax, we can experience several symptoms associated.

In some cases, patients can experience different symptoms from compacted wax:

  • Experience loss of hearing
  • Itchiness in the ear
  • Fullness within the ear
  • Experienced a buzzing or ringing that can be associated with Tinnitus

Traditionally, ear syringing has been a common practice performed by GPs to remove compacted ear wax. This practice involves flushing out the ear canal using water to remove the compacted wax. Quite often syringing is often referred to as ear irrigation.

With the improvements in Audiology services, Microsuction wax removal uses a small vacuum to remove the wax removing the need for water.

In this article, we explain the key differences between ear syringing Microsuction wax removal.

Ear syringing

Ear Syringing is the procedure of injecting warm water into the ear canal to loosen and flush out compacted ear wax. The A syringe is used to control the pressure and quantity of water being injected into the ear. The patient’s head is slightly tilted allowing the water and wax to flush into a collecting basin.

Ear syringing should not be performed on patients who have a perforated eardrum or grommet. It is advised that using ear drops for a number of days to help soften the compacted wax.

Consideration of ear syringing

There are some considerations regarding ear syringing. This procedure should always be performed by a medical professional.

  • Otitis externa – A condition that causes inflammation of the external ear canal. Otitis externa is often referred to as “swimmers ear”.
  • Syringing of the ear aggravates skin conditions such as Psoriasis.
  • Perforated eardrum or grommets – Patients who have experienced a perforated eardrum.
  • Vertigo – Water used in ear syringing should be body temperature (37°C), if the water is to cold or hot it can cause vertigo or dizziness.

Microsuction wax removal

Microsuction is a very safe method of removing ear wax blockages. As no water and irrigation are used, the risk of eardrum perforation, infections, or trauma to the eardrum is greatly reduced. The Audiologist can visibly see the wax and can use the suction tool to remove the compacted wax.

In some cases the Audiologist might use a small tool called a jobson horne to remove stubborn wax. microsuction is one of the safest methods to removing compacted wax which is performed by a fully qualified Audiologist.

We will always recommend a patient to use ear drops such as Earol for 4-5 days prior to your appointment. Earol is an olive oil based solution designed to soften the compacted wax. This can improve the microsuction process allowing more wax to be removed.

Considerations of microsuction wax removal

We will always recommend consulting our team before booking in a microuction who will conduct a short questionnaire.

  • No surgery to ears.
  • No infections or trauma to ears.
  • No perforations he is aware of.

Microsuction is not suitable for the following conditions:

  1. Perforated eardrum - microsuction wax removal is not suitable for people who have suffered a perforated ear drum.
  2. Ear infections – patients suffering from an ear infection. The best practice is to wait for the ear infection to clear before commencing microsuction.