Microsuction is now considered the gold-standard method for ear wax removal and also one of the safest methods to clean the ear. The nurse, doctor or audiologist treating you looks at your ear using a microscope. This magnifies the ear, making it easier to assess and treat. A suction device is used to clean the ear without the use of water. The gentle suction device works in a similar way to a vacuum cleaner and although it can be quite noisy, it is quick and painless. If the object being removed is hard, then removal can be slightly uncomfortable. The person performing the procedure will always advise you if they feel it is going to be uncomfortable. When microsuction is being used to remove wax, then the procedure tends to be less uncomfortable if a wax softening spray (for example, Earol® olive oil spray which can be purchased over the counter) is used for two – three days before the procedure.
We do not recommend the use of sodium bicarbonate ear drops for softening ear wax.