What is microsuction?

Microsuction is the use of a microscope and a small sucker, which allows visually guided removal of earwax and other debris from within the ear in a safe and controlled manner.

It is a procedure, which can be carried out at the time of your out-patient consultation and does not require any form of local or general anaesthetic. It is a safer alternative to syringing which can carry the risk of minor trauma to the ear canal leading to infection.

Occasionally, it may be required to prepare the ear in advance by using softening ear drops or olive oil. This is particularly useful if the wax is solid as removal may be more challenging. By softening the earwax prior to microsuction, then the wax is more likely to be removed with less effort. It would not be recommended to use such drops until you have a confirmed diagnosis of earwax and have been told that there is no reason that you cant use the drops.

Microsuction can be used to remove wax but also debris from ear infections and even foreign objects which have found their way in to the ear canal.

Is microsuction painful?

For most patients, having their ears cleaned out can be quite comfortable, but it is often described as loud. This is because the suction is placed in to the ear canal and so it is not far from the eardrum. If the wax is particularly firm or if the ear canal is inflamed then it may be uncomfortable to have the ear suctioned but softening drops will often ease this.