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Can Microsuction Damage Your Ears?


While ear wax microsuction is a very safe procedure (when done by an experienced professional) for the removal of ear wax, like all interventions, it carries some risk. It's important to underline that while the following should be considered, these are very unlikely. In an overwhelming number of cases, the procedure is quick, pleasant, and non-eventful. To learn more about ear microsuction please click here for more information.


The common risks associated with microsuction are...


Trauma


Microsuction involves using a 'suction pen' which is made of a plastic handle and a long angled end tube made of metal. The practitioner uses the suction pen to gently suction out the wax. Our ears are very delicate however and are easily damaged. The skin beyond the outer third of the ear canal up to the eardrum is just 0.55mm thin, surrounding bone. Touching this area can be very uncomfortable and the skin is easily damaged.


The ear drum is also susceptible to damage. In the worst-case scenario, the ear drum can be perforated (a hole is made in the eardrum). This can happen by the physical force of the pen pushed against the eardrum which is due to a lack of experience and control of the practitioner. More commonly, however, inexperienced practitioners may attempt to remove stubborn wax from the ear drum, and in doing so, actually suck too hard, sucking the eardrum along with the wax.


Eardrum work should be only ever completed by very experienced practitioners with the best visual equipment. Knowing how much suction pressure is appropriate is an art and comes with years of experience and a steady hand.



Tinnitus and dizziness


The balance organ-vestibule- is located in the inner ear. In some cases, the air suction can cause what is called the 'caloric effect'. This is when the balance organ is stimulated giving the impression of movement (dizziness) by a change in the temperate of the outer ear. This change in temperature can be brought on by the suction pen, and some people can feel a mild sense of dizziness. This is usually very mild and will pass within a few minutes. People are safe to drive within a few minutes of the procedure. In our experience, this happens to less than 1% of people.


It has been known for some time now, that very loud sounds can cause tinnitus ear wax or make pre-existing tinnitus louder. This is something most people are quite familiar with when they experience a ringing sound a day after attending a party with loud music. While suction machines differ, due to the fact that the suction pen is so close to the eardrum there will be an inevitable increase in sound pressure. In some cases, people can find they are left with a ringing or buzzing which are variations of tinnitus sounds, for up to 24 hours after the procedure. This is what some people experience and what tinnitus causes. However, this is actually quite rare and in our experience, the majority of patients don't experience this.


Discomfort


As mentioned above, due to the delicate nature of the ear, and especially when the wax is removed from deep within the ear, while not painful, it can be uncomfortable in some cases. An inexperienced practitioner who isn't familiar with and skilled enough to avoid sensitive areas can make things worse. In most cases, however, discomfort is caused by the wax itself coming away from the ear canal or moving around and touching the canal. This is often a necessary evil, however, as people with hard wax deep in the ear canal find it very uncomfortable anyway.


Bleeding


While rare, in some cases the lining of the ear canal can be ruptured causing bleeding. This is however no worse than a small cut on any other part of the body and simply requires the area to be left open and dry to allow the cut to heal. It is important however to note patients who are on blood thinning medication like Asprin, as in these cases, there is need to be especially mindful of any wounds and may need to seek medical attention if the wound doesn't heal.


Fainting


This one is extremely rare but still important to point out. There is a condition called vasovagal syncope, which is when the blood pressure of the body drops due to the dilation of blood vessels in the legs and the slowing of the heart rate, which leads to a reduction in oxygen reaching the brain- causing fainting. This is often triggered by high anxiety at the sight of blood or injury. People who are highly anxious or fearful can also cause vasovagal response.


Ear microsucton is usually completed with the patient either lying down or sitting upright. Both are completely acceptable and often just depend on the preference of the practitioner. Vasovagal syncope is relevant when the procedure is done in an upright sitting position. In this case, gravity means the blood is taken away from the brain towards the legs quicker and this makes fainting much more likely. When the procedure is completed in the lying down position, the natural elevation of the legs means the blood circulation in the brain remains sufficient to avoid this happening.


If people are very nervous and anxious about the procedure, they should be aware of the symptoms that indicate they might lead to vasovagal syncope. A sudden hot flush, and feeling sweaty and unwell are all indicators that Vasovagal Syncope may occur. The patient should be asked to lie down immediately and have their legs elevated in order to counteract the blood flowing to the legs. In most cases, this will immediately stop all the symptoms and prevent fainting. Continuing to sit and fight through the symptoms rarely works.


If a patient does faint, there is no lasting damage however and they should return to feeling normal fairly quickly. They may feel disorientated however and nauseous. They should avoid driving until they feel 100% back to normal. This can take from 15 minutes to a few days. In our experience, this is extremely rare and will only occur in patients that have a predisposition to the condition. Patients who report feeling very anxious should be treated with care, however, and the signs above should be observed closely in order to avoid the condition.


Tinnitus Cure

Ear Microsuction is the best method...


We felt it was important to be as transparent as possible when it comes to people's health. We don't want to scare you though, so it's important to stress that microsuction when done by experienced ear specialists is a safe, efficient, and effective procedure. We have now completed hundreds of patients and our reviews speak for themselves. We are proud to provide the best service we can, making it a priority to ensure your safety all along.


Our goal is to raise standards...

It is our aim at 'The Tinnitus Guy' to raise the standard of ear wax removal services nationally in the UK and even beyond. Sadly, with current changes allowing inexperienced professionals like pharmacists to perform ear wax removal with very minimal training, it is very worrying. We feel strongly that our ears are too important to trust anyone but the very best. This is why we only employ qualified and experienced audiologists as part of our team.


We make it a point to get formal consent from each and every patient before completing the procedure. You can access the consent form here, and fill this out before the procedure.



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