Microsuction for Adults and Children

Microsuction involves inserting a suction tube into the ear canal. The suction tip is attached to a long plastic tube, which is then attached to a suction unit or machine.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Quick, effective, gentle & safe
  • The practitioner can see inside the ear canal using a high powered microscope
  • It is not always necessary to use ear drops beforehand
  • Safe if you have perforated ears or have had surgery to your ears
  • No water, so less messy
  • Safe for those with mastoid cavities
  • Can be noisy
  • Not ideal if you are a nervous, anxious or jumpy person

  • Not the safest if someone is fidgety, has a cough or a medical condition that causes sudden jolts or movements
  • It may not always be possible to remove very deep wax with microsuction depending on the practitioners visual equipment
  • Very soft slushy wax can be harder and in some cases more dangerous to remove with microsuction
  • There is risk of human error and ear trauma if not used properly

Common questions

Despite the safety of micro suction, as with any procedure, it carries a small amount of risk and potential side effects.

Most of these potential side effects are very rare, so there is no need to worry about having the procedure. ​

Is ear micro suction painful?

Many people report that they like the sensation of micro suction and find it soothing. It is very gentle and immediately restores hearing. ​If tinnitus is present due to the ear canal being blocked, this is often alleviated when the blockage is cleared. ​There is a wind-like noise when the probe is in the ear canal and modern machines have greatly reduced operating noise. ​If the wax is very soft, a soft sucking sound can be heard as the debris is sucked up the probe and into the tube.

How long does it take?

The procedures can vary according to the amount of wax or debris present, and in most cases lasts no more than 30 minutes.

dizziness & noise

Some people experience a little dizziness, faintness or a feeling of vertigo during the procedure or shortly afterwards. This is due to micro suction ear wax removal actually causing the temperature of the ear canal to cool down during the procedure, which can cause this feeling.​This side effect is only temporary and shouldn’t last very long following the removal of ear wax.

The equipment used during ear wax removal does generate some noise, which some find to be very loud. In minimal cases, this can cause temporary short lived hearing loss, known as a temporary threshold shift. This occasionally happens when tiny muscles contract to protect the ear against noise. There is also an extremely rare chance of tinnitus being caused, or existing tinnitus worsened.

Trauma & infection

This is rare, but as with any procedure you undergo, there is a small risk of infection following micro suction ear wax removal. All tools used with micro suction are single use and discarded after each procedure making infection extremely remote and virtually unheard of. However, if you do experience this, there are treatments that are very effective at clearing up any infections.

As the micro suction ear wax removal procedure involves a tube being inserted into the ear canal, there is a small risk that some damage or trauma could occur in the ear canal or ear drum. This can occur from sudden movements by the recipient. In extremely rare cases, the eardrum can become perforated.