What is earwax and why is it a problem?
Earwax is a naturally occurring substance which is important to the health of your ears. Usually your ears naturally clear earwax so that it does not build up. Some people experience symptoms of excessive earwax which may need treatment.
What should I do if I think my earwax needs treatment?
Excessive earwax can be treated with softening drops or olive oil, syringing or microsuction. The first step is always to use a softening drop or oil – this may resolve the issue and will make any subsequent treatment more successful. Do not use cotton buds, as they compact wax and disrupt the natural clearance process in your ear canal.
What is microsuction?
Microsuction is the use of vacuum wax clearance under the direct vision of a microscope, it is safer and less uncomfortable than syringing. Microsuction, like syringing, relies upon the wax being soft enough to be removed – therefore the use of a softening agent prior to the procedure is important.
What should I do prior to my appointment?
You may wish for your audiologist or practice nurse to confirm that wax is the cause for your symptoms before referring yourself to our service. Please use softening drops or olive oil for at least a week twice daily prior to your appointment. The longer you use a softening agent the more successful your procedure will be. Short notice appointments can be arranged if required. Please inform us if you have had any surgery on your ears in the past.
How can I arrange microsuction and how much does it cost?
Please contact Leckhampton Surgery on 01242 539080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and request a private microsuction appointment. The cost of treatment to both ears is £80 which is payable to reception on arrival.
Is there any risk from the procedure?
Microsuction is a safe procedure. Unlike syringing it is carried out under direct vision to avoid damage to the ear drum. Syringing forces pressurised water into the ear canal – this is not the case with microsuction. There is a very small risk of minor trauma to the ear canal or infection which can cause irritation. Some patients with wax build up have an inflamed or infected ear canal prior to the procedure – microsuction will help to resolve this but you may be advised to use antibiotic drops after the procedure if we feel this is advisable.
What if the wax cannot be removed from my ears using microsuction?
If you have used a softening agent prior to the procedure for the recommended time this should not be an issue. However, should you have hard impacted wax which has not been softened adequately it may not be possible to remove all of the wax in one appointment – we will remove as much as is possible and advise you on further treatment options. We may use additional instruments to attempt to remove your wax which will be discussed with you at the time of the procedure. In this situation the appointment fee remains chargeable – if you are concerned that you may have impacted wax please discuss this with your practice nurse or audiologist as a longer course of softening agents may be required prior to microsuction. If your wax has been adequately softened but cannot be removed, we will arrange to see you again at our Cheltenham clinic.