Is microsuction right for you?

At Hearing SA in our Unley Clinic we are now offering microsuction to remove impacted ear wax from your ears! Microsuction is one of the safest options to remove earwax quickly. So today let’s talk about what this is and if it’s the right choice for you!

Why would you need to get ear wax removed?

In general, earwax falls out of your ears on its own, no action needed! But if you have narrow ear canals, wear hearing aids or headphones everyday, or you have used q-tips in your ears, the earwax might get stuck and is unable to fall out. When this happens, the earwax will get old, go hard and your body will create new earwax creating a blockage in your ear. This blockage is the most common cause of conductive hearing loss. This hearing loss will make everything sound dull to you. Additionally, you might feel pressure or ear pain. The earwax blockage can also cause tinnitus which is a ringing in your ears and if left too long can develop into an ear infection. These are all signs that it’s time to see your audiologist and determine what the best earwax removal option is for you!

Earwax removal options:

There are many different ways to remove earwax. Each with their own pros and cons! The most common ways include ear drops, mechanical removal, syringing, and microsuction.

Ear Drops:

You can buy ear drops at any pharmacy. At Hearing SA we recommend EarClear Removal Drops. You insert these drops into your ear twice a day. This softens the earwax and helps it fall out of your ear naturally over the course of a week. The downside is that as the earwax softens it sometimes makes the hearing loss caused by the blockage worse before it can get better!

Mechanical removal:

Mechanical removal of earwax is used when the earwax is easy to reach towards the front of the ear canal. This can be done by your audiologist with the usage of an ear spoon or loop. Care must be taken to not go too deep and accidentally touch or perforate the eardrum. Generally, mechanical removal of earwax is done in conjunction with microsuction because most impacted wax blockages are further back in the ear canal.

Ear Syringing:

Ear syringing or irrigation is most commonly used by GPs. The GP will use water to flush earwax out of the ear canal. With this procedure, there is a 20% risk of pushing the wax further in and causing a perforation in the ear drum. This procedure cannot be done on anyone who already has a perforated ear, a history of ear surgery, a foreign matter in the ear, or a mild outer ear infection. People tend to choose this earwax removal option because it is more readily available than the microsuction services.


Microsuction can be used on anyone, even with people who may have a perforated eardrum. It is safer than the ear syringing. A tiny vacuum is used to gently dislodge and remove the earwax. The procedure only lasts a few minutes during which you might feel suction in your ear, and sometimes a crackling or squeaking sound. Before performing this procedure, our audiologists will ask you for a detailed case history to ensure this is safe for you. Some health conditions or medications may increase the risk of an ear infection after the procedure, increase the risk of bleeding, cause dizziness, or worsen your tinnitus. Our audiologists will advise of the risks to you after taking the case history.

How often does microsuction need to be done?

This depends on the individual! Some people may only need to get this done once in their life if they had a foreign object stuck in their ear or if they used q-tips which pushed the earwax further into the ear creating the impaction. Other people such as hearing aid wearers with narrow ear canals might have to go and get their ears cleaned every 3 to 6 months.

Take home message:

There are many options available for people seeking earwax removal. One of the safest options is microsuction which is offered here at Hearing SA for $90. If you would like to ask us more questions about the procedure or book an appointment please call us on 0403 690 980.