A procedure that introduces warm water into the ear canal to remove softened ear wax. Using an electronic ear irrigation machine that gently pumps at a controlled and steady rate warmed water into the ear via a small nozzle. It should be performed by a qualified health care professional who has had further training in ear irrigation.
The procedure takes between 15 and 30 minutes. Sometimes it may take slightly longer, water left in the ear for 15 minutes has been shown to assist wax removal.
What Happens During The Irrigation Appointment?
Regular inspection of the ear canal under direct vision with an otoscope is made throughout the procedure. Once the wax is removed your ear canal will be dry mopped with cotton wool. You will be given verbal and written instruction on how to take care of your ear, this includes keeping it dry to avoid infection.
Can Anyone Have Ear Irrigation?
It is not suitable in the following circumstances;
- Cleft Palate
- Mastoid Cavity
- Perforated Ear Drum
- Perforated Ear drum that has healed in the last 12 months
- Foreign Object in the Ear Canal
- Infection in the Inner or Outer Ear in the last 6 weeks
- Ear Surgery in the last 18 months
How Do I Prepare For The Procedure?
What Are The Risks?
No procedure is completely risk-free. Associated risks are as follows.
- Unsuccessful ear wax removal
- Dizziness and Faintness
- Damage to the ear canal and perforation of the eardrum
- Tinnitus or worsening of a pre-existing condition
- Infection in the outer ear canal