This method is used by Ear, Noise and Throat Specialists for a reason. It is the safest way to remove wax professionally and ensures every last vestige of wax is removed. It is also usually more comfortable than traditional water syringing. This is the method we at Ear Suction Clinic use. It is quick and easy and a patient is usually out within 10 minutes. For more information about our technique, please visit our webpage here.
TOTAL SCORE: 27/30
Water syringing has been used by doctors and GPs for decades and given the risks, imprecision and discomfort involved, it is a wonder why it is still being used. The RACGP published an article in 2015 saying how 1 in 5 medico-legal cases involving GPs is due to problems arising from syringing. This is because there are greater risks to ear drum perforations, ear infections, increase or start of tinnitus, vertigo and more. Why subject yourself to this antiquated 'hope for the best' procedure (often requiring more than one appointment) when your can treat yourself to micro-suction? GPs in the UK and increasingly in Australia have seen the light and are referring more and more patients to micro-suction clinics.
TOTAL SCORE: 14/30
Water irrigation brought traditional syringing to the 21st Century. Instead of blasting the patient with water, water irrigation seeks to provide a controlled propulsion of tempered water to dislodge the wax. Whilst this is indeed an improvement over syringing, a lot of the short comings and risks associated with syringing are still present. The fact that you are introducing water to the very delicate ear canal increases your risk to an ear infection. The method is still imprecise as there is no real-time visual observation of the ear canal just like in syringing, unlike in micro-suction where the ear canal and target wax is observed the whole time. Just like in syringing, wax can also still get pushed deep down to the ear drum in this method making the situation worse for the patient. In micro-suction, wax is withdrawn not pushed in further.
TOTAL SCORE: 18.5/30
As the name suggests, ear candling involves placing a candle in the affected ear and using heat to withdraw the wax. Unfortunately in theory, this doesn't actually work. It may feel good but there is no scientific validation of this technique. There is however countless occurrences of individual suffering from burns to inside their ear canal and even worse, to their ear drum. We would caution anyone thinking of using ear candling to remove wax.
TOTAL SCORE: 12/30
Ear Buds or Variants
Studies have shown that using ear buds feels good and is probably why many people use them. Unfortunately, they are probably making their earwax problem worse. Earwax or ceruman is produced by wax glands near the entrance of the ear canal. By using ear buds, you risk pushing this wax deeper into the ear canal. New wax is then produced and before long your ear canal can become completely blocked from the ear drum outwards. Not a fun experience for anyone involved. At Ear Suction Clinic, we see patients all the time who have used ear buds and pushed the wax deeper and some who have even caused damage to their ear canal walls where bleeding has occurred. Bottom line, don't use ear buds. They are more dangerous than you think.
TOTAL SCORE: 15/30
By the time ear drops are recommended, you probably will need to get the wax removed professionally. Ear drops are more beneficial as a preventative measure for earwax build-up and will not remove wax that has accumulated. If using ear drops for prevention sake, we recommend everyday olive oil. We have written an article about ear drops which you may want to see here.
TOTAL SCORE: 15/30
Micro-suction => 27/30
Water Syringing => 14/30
Water Irrigation => 18.5/30
Ear Candling => 12/30
Ear Buds => 15/30
Ear Drops => 15/30
To book an appointment to have your ears cleaned via micro-suction, call 1300 380 060 or book online here. Your ears will thank you.