What is microsuction and how does it differ from other methods?

Author thumbnail Jamie Broughton-Wray  |  Published 15 August 2023  | Updated 02 October 2023  | 3 mins read

A man holding his ear to listen.

What is microsuction?

Microsuction is a method of ear wax removal that is typically performed by qualified audiologists or wax removal clinicians. This procedure involves using a small tip connected to a vacuum pump that is carefully inserted into the ear canal. The tip is then gently used to suction out the excess ear wax. 

Microsuction is regarded as the safest and cleanest method of ear wax removal and is the most requested removal method used at The Hearing Care Partnership. However, depending on the level of ear wax buildup, medical history and thorough examination of the ear, alternative methods might be deemed more suitable.

How does microsuction ear wax removal work?

During a microsuction appointment at The Hearing Care Partnership, our skilled hearing care team will conduct a thorough assessment of your wax build-up, before the removal takes place. They will discuss your medical history and personal preference before deciding on the most suitable method of wax removal for you. With your consent, your clinician will be able to begin the removal process. 

An audiologist examining the ear of a patient with an otoscope.

Using a video otoscope to guide them, your clinician will gently insert the probe into your ear canal and start to suck up the excess ear wax. The softer the ear wax, the easier it is to remove, which is why we recommend using medical-grade olive oil ear drops or spray for a minimum of 5 days before your appointment. (Please note: Only use olive oil ear drops if you have been advised by a medical professional. You should not use them if you have been previously advised not to.

Once the removal is complete your clinician will be able to show you before and after images should you wish. A hearing health check is also then carried out to ensure your hearing levels are back to their best.

How does microsuction differ from other types of ear wax removal?

Microsuction is one of three professional wax removal methods. The others are manual removal and water irrigation.

A patient having ear wax removal appointment.

Each removal method deals with the built-up ear wax differently and is chosen based on the level of wax build-up, any pre-existing medical conditions and after a thorough examination of the ear. Microsuction is typically used for mild to moderate buildup with softer ear wax. If the build-up is greater, your clinician might opt for water irrigation, which uses body-temperature water to flush out the wax. Manual removal is suitable for small amounts of wax near the ear canal entrance.

Are there any risks of using microsuction for ear wax removal?

When performed by a professional, microsuction is a safe method for ear wax removal. Attempting it at home with “microsuction kits” is risky and could worsen your blockage, potentially causing permanent damage to your ears and hearing. Professional microsuction carries minimal risks, as our clinicians assess ear health before any removal procedure.

How do I know I need my ear wax removed? 

If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms, you might require ear wax removal:

  • Itchiness
  • Pain or earache
  • A feeling of ‘fullness’ in the ears
  • Muffled hearing
  • Tinnitus

Microsuction near me with The Hearing Care Partnership

At The Hearing Care Partnership, our nationwide team of audiologists and wax removal clinicians are ready and waiting to help you hear clearly again. Our comprehensive ear wax removal service not only ensures thorough wax removal but also provides complete support for your hearing needs.

To book an ear wax removal appointment near you, find your nearest practice, call us on 0800 52 00 546 or book online.