Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Aural microsuction for wax impaction: survey of efficacy and patient perception

  • S J Prowse (a1) and O Mulla (a2)
Abstract
Objective:

Cerumen impaction is a common problem, and aural microsuction is a technique frequently employed for its management. This study aimed to quantify the patient perception, safety and efficacy of this procedure.

Methods:

Patients were asked to complete a questionnaire following cerumen clearance by microsuction. The perceived severity of pain, noise-related discomfort and vertigo was scored on a scale of 1 to 10. Patients with mastoid cavities and those who had used a cerumenolytic agent in the preceding week were analysed separately.

Results:

A total of 159 questionnaires were returned. Mean scores (95 per cent confidence intervals) were: pain, 2.34 (2.06–2.62); noise discomfort, 3.03 (2.71–3.35); and vertigo, 1.95 (1.66–2.25). There was successful clearance (i.e. sufficient to view the tympanic membrane) in 91 per cent of cases. Patients who had used cerumenolytics reported significantly less pain and vertigo (p = 0.008 and p < 0.001, respectively) compared with those who had not, whilst patients with mastoid cavities reported greater levels of vertigo (p < 0.001) than those without.

Conclusion:

Aural microsuction is well tolerated. Side effects are mild, and the prior use of cerumenolytics appears to further reduce their severity.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Mr S Prowse, Department of ENT Surgery, Walsall Manor Hospital, Walsall WS2 9PS, UK Fax: +44 113 3923165 E-mail: simon.prowse@bthft.nhs.uk
References
Hide All
1Guest, JF, Greener, MJ, Robinson, AC, Smith, AF. Impacted cerumen: composition, production, epidemiology and management. QJM 2004;97:477–88
2Sharp, JF, Wilson, JA. Ross, L, Barr-Hamilton, RM. Ear wax removal: a survey of current practice. BMJ 1990;301:1251–3
3Burton, MJ, Doree, C. Ear drops for the removal of ear wax. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2009;(21):CD004326
4Hand, C, Harvey, I. The effectiveness of topical preparations for the treatment of earwax: a systematic review. Br J Gen Pract 2004;54:862–75
5Clegg, AJ, Loveman, E, Gospodarevskaya, E, Harris, P, Bird, A, Bryant, J et al. The safety and effectiveness of different methods of earwax removal: a systematic review and economic evaluation. Health Technol Assess 2010;14:1192
6Stevenson, RS, Guthrie, D. A History of Otolaryngology. Edinburgh: Livingstone, 1949
7Memel, D, Langley, C, Watkins, C, Laue, B, Birchall, M, Bachmann, M. Effectiveness of syringing in general practice: a randomised controlled trial and patients’ experiences. Br J Gen Pract 2002;52:906–11
8Bird, S. The potential pitfalls of ear syringing. Minimising the risks. Aust Fam Physician 2003;32:150–1
9Pothier, DD, Hall, C, Gillett, S. A comparison of endoscopic and microscopic removal of wax: a randomised clinical trial. Clin Otolaryngol 2006;31:375–80
10Pothier, DD, Nieuwoudt, D. Endoscopic dewaxing in the audiology department – the Bristol experience. Clin Otolaryngol 2007;32:462–4
11Addams-Williams, J, Howarth, A, Phillipps, JJ. Microsuction aural toilet in ENT outpatients: a questionnaire to evaluate the patient experience. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2010;267:1863–6
12Snelling, JD, Smithard, A, Waddell, A. Noise levels generated within the external auditory canal during microsuction aural toilet and the effect on hearing: a prospective controlled series. Clin Otolaryngol 2009;34:21–5
13Eekhof, JA, De Bock, GH, Le Cessie, S, Springer, MP. A quasi-randomised controlled trial of water as a quick softening agent of persistent earwax in general practice. Br J Gen Pract 2001;51:635–7
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-laryngology-and-otology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed