Microsuction Ear Wax Removal

Fully Qualified NHS and Privately experienced Audiologist specialising in Ear Wax removal providing the best professional care.

What is Ear Wax?

Ear wax builds up dead cells, hair, and foreign material such as dust, and cerumen. Cerumen is the natural wax produced by glands in the ear. It forms a protective coating of the skin in the ear canal. Small amounts are made all the time. Flakes or crusts of ear wax break off and fall out of the ear from time to time.

The quantity of ear wax made varies greatly from person to person. Some people form plugs of ear wax in their ear canal. This may cause a feeling of fullness and dulled hearing. It can feel uncomfortable. A hard plug of ear wax can also sometimes cause ‘ringing in the ear’ (tinnitus) or even a mild type of dizziness (vertigo).

A doctor, Audiologist or nurse can look into the ear canal and confirm a plug of ear wax has formed. A plug of ear wax is not a serious problem, it is more a nuisance. You only need to remove ear wax if it is causing symptoms such as dulled hearing. Ear wax may also need to be removed to fit a hearing aid, or if a doctor or nurse needs to examine your eardrum.

Note: do not try to clean the ear canal with cotton wool buds, etc. This can make things worse, as you will push some ear wax deeper inside. It may also cause an ear infection. So, let the ear clean itself.

What is Microsuction Ear Wax Removal?

Microsuction ear wax removal is a procedure performed by healthcare professionals, typically audiologists or Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialists, to safely remove excess ear wax from the ear canal. During the procedure, a small suction device with a thin, flexible tube is used to gently suction out the wax, without the need for water irrigation or insertion of instruments into the ear canal. It’s considered safe and effective for removing stubborn or impacted ear wax, and it’s often preferred over other methods because it minimises the risk of injury to the ear canal or eardrum. It can provide immediate relief and help the hearing restore to normal. It’s like a mini hoover for your ears. Microsuction ear wax removal is the current proven Gold Standard clinical method for the removal of ear wax.

Ear wax is a waxy oil produced by the hair follicle glands in the ear canal also known as cerumen, which is a protection mechanism to keep the ears clean and free of germs. On occasion, these hair follicle glands can produce more wax than necessary which in turn can cause a wax build-up or blockage in the ear canal.

Signs & Symptoms of An Ear Wax blockage: 

  • Earache/Dull pain in the ears.
  • Feeling of fullness in the ears.
  • Tinnitus (Ringing/buzzing or any other types of noises in the ears or head).
  • Hearing loss.
  • Dizziness/Unsteadiness.
  • Itchiness in the ears.

Microsuction Benefits: 

  • Faster method of ear wax removal compared to ear syringing.
  • Restored Hearing.
  • Safe to complete for those with perforations on the ear drum.
  • Accurate and precise ear wax removal.
  • No messy water is needed, unlike ear syringing.
  • Less chance of dizziness in comparison to ear syringing.

What are the risks and complications?

Every procedure carries a potential risk of infection.

  • Grazing can occur if the ear canal skin is sensitive. There is a small risk of perforation if any sudden movements are made. To avoid this you should keep as still as possible throughout the procedure.
  • Some people experience dizziness due to the cool air being sucked through the ear canal. This usually goes away quickly. Inform the Audiologist and they will stop the procedure until the dizziness has passed.
  • Coughing can occur as the nerve that supplies the throat with the coughing mechanism lies close to the ear canal. Inform the Audiologist and they will stop the procedure until it passes.
  • If microsuction is being performed due to infection the procedure may sometimes be uncomfortable. The Audiologist will check you are coping with the procedure throughout.

If you have any concerns or worries, please speak to the Audiologist who will be happy to allay your fears.

Polite Notice:

Hearing Consultation Fee of £30 is Non-refundable.

This fee is for a hearing consultation regardless of if there is ear wax. The Audiologist will discuss your hearing concerns, examine the ear and the auditory canal with an otoscope, and then decide the appropriate treatment/management options with you. 

This fee will apply even if there is No Wax or Debris, which is £30 for every appointment, taken to cover our costs. 


We do advise you to use olive oil before your appointment for best results however please call us to confirm the use of olive oil as this is dependent on an individual case-by-case basis. However, we can still remove the wax without olive oil use if necessary. The earwax is softened and it often breaks up if you use a few drops once a day for 3-7 days before the appointment.

How to Use Ear Drops:

The most effective way to use olive oil drops is to tilt your head while inserting the drops to ensure the olive oil is travelling through the ear canal as some ear canals are not exactly horizontal. Once you’ve used the drops you should massage the tragus (entrance of the ear canal) in a circular motion to help disperse the oil around the ear canal. 

Ear drops alone will often clear a plug of earwax. You can buy drops from pharmacies. For example, olive oil, almond oil, sodium bicarbonate, and sodium chloride ear drops are commonly used for this purpose. Warm the drops to room temperature before using them. (Let the bottle stand in the room for about half an hour.) Pour a few drops into the affected ear. Lie with the affected ear uppermost when putting in drops. Stay like this for 2-3 minutes to allow the drops to soak into the earwax. The earwax is softened and it often breaks up if you put a few drops once a day for 3-7 days. Flakes or crusts of earwax often fall out bit by bit. You may not notice the wax as it comes out of your ear.


We do not condone to use of any ear wax removal methods at home, especially cotton buds, ear candling or anything other invasive devices in the ear canal as these are dangerous and can cause more damage to the sensitive skin inside the ear canal.

These devices can push wax further into the ear canal towards the drum and cause further difficulties when removing the wax needs to be removed.  

Also if you are aware that you have any perforations on either ear drum please DO NOT use ear drops of any kind. 

Please consult your local GP or urgent care services if you are experiencing any severe ear pain/discomfort, swelling, bleeding, or foul-smelling discharge from the ear which is either white-yellow or green in colour. Or if you require the removal of any foreign objects in the ear canal.

What should I expect on the day of my appointment?

  • The use of olive oil a few days before the appointment can help with ear wax removal but may not be necessary. Please get in touch with us and we will advise you further.
  • The Fully Qualified Audiologist will complete a medical questionnaire and consent form regarding the microsuction ear wax removal and examine the health of your ear with an otoscope. If the ear wax is present this will be safely removed from the ear.
  • The Microsuction ear wax removal procedure can take around 10-20 minutes depending on if both ears are being treated and may take a few minutes for your ears to settle, once the procedure is complete.

Is there any Aftercare? 

  • In most cases after ear wax removal the use of any drops is not needed.
  • However, the use of olive oil drops every fortnight can help keep ear wax soft and may reduce the build-up of ear wax. But please consult the audiologist during the appointment and they can advise you further if necessary.
Scroll to Top