Medicare rebates are available for ear micro-suction treatments, as long as you have a referral from your GP. The actual cost to you after a rebate is claimed is about $35 regardless of whether one or both ears are treated. We can still treat you without a referral, but your cost will be greater as a rebate can’t be claimed.
Excessive ear wax can be irritating and is a common cause of impaired hearing. Remedy+ is different to most other clinics as we have a doctor that will check your ear to make an accurate diagnosis (excess wax buildup, ear infection, foreign body etc), perform ear microsuction if necessary, and examine your ear once it is clear.
Ear micro-suction is performed using an operating microscope and a low pressure suction device. It is the safest way to remove ear wax or other material, and can be safely used even when there’s been previous damage or perforation of the eardrum.
If you have blocked, painful, irritated or itchy ears, our doctor can examine them and recommend the appropriate treatment, whether it be ear micro-suction or something else.
What is Ear Wax?
Cerumen is the medical term for ear wax. The production of ear wax is normal and needed. Ear wax plays an important role in protecting, cleaning and lubricating the lining of the ear canal.
Cerumen is made up of the secretions of glands lining the ear canal. It also contains shed skin cells, hair and other debris.
Cerumen is normally cleared from the ear by cells that form in the eardrum and then slowly migrate to the outside of the ear. In people who produce more ear wax than is needed, or in whom there is a blockage of the ear canal (such as with the use of hearing aids), the normal clearing process of the ear can be overwhelmed. This can lead to impacted ear wax within the ear canal, potentially causing some hearing loss, itching or discomfort.
How have people removed ear wax?
Most people can’t resist the urge to remove ear wax using a cotton bud. Whilst this might remove a little bit of the cerumen, doctors advise against this because it actually pushes most of it further into the ear canal. Even more alarmingly, there is a significant risk of perforation of the eardrum.
A cotton bud is much longer than the ear canal.
Ear wax can often be located close to the eardrum.
Trying to remove ear wax using a cotton bud is dangerous.
Without extreme caution it is easy to damage the eardrum.
In the worst case it is possible to cause a perforation (a hole in the eardrum)
Syringing of the ear
Most GPs treat excessive cerumen in the ear by a process called syringing. This involves the use of a special tool (a large metal syringe) that forces water into the ear at high pressure. This procedure can be uncomfortable and sometimes causes ear infections. Syringing can even damage the ear drum and tear a hole (perforation) in it.
Some people have a perforated eardrum without realising it.
The perforation might not be visible if wax is present in the ear.
Syringing the ear can force water into the inner ear canal (the part of the ear past the eardrum).
This can cause serious complications such as infection and hearing loss.
Cerumenolytics are wax softeners. They include medicinal olive oil and other commercially prepared ear drops. They are safe to use for ear wax removal, but only work when the wax buildup is not too excessive or impacted.
At Remedy Plus we recommend the use of cerumenolytics prior to an ear micro-suction procedure, as softening the wax makes removal easier.
Don’t even think about it!
People have resorted many dangerous methods to remove ear wax. The old adage, “never put anything in your ear smaller than your elbow”, is good advice. Don’t even think about using a paperclip, a safety pin, a toothpick….. anything!
Ear candling has been promoted as a treatment for ear wax (along with even more dubious claims about it being beneficial for general health) for many years.
It is not recommended by the medical profession. The world’s first professor of complementary medicine had this to say, “There is no data to suggest that it is effective for any condition. Furthermore, ear candles have been associated with ear injuries. The inescapable conclusion is that ear candles do more harm than good. Their use should be discouraged.”
The use of ear candles is dangerous and can lead to complications such as impaction of wax in the ear, burns or even perforation of the ear drum.
The advantages of ear micro-suction
Our ear suction machine is the safest and most comfortable way of removing ear wax. Unlike the ‘blind’ syringing performed by most
doctors, the use of a microscope during ear micro-suction allows the ear wax (and important structures such as the eardrum) to be directly viewed while it is being removed. This provides the
- comfortable (no pain)
- no water or any other fluids needed
- no mess
- can be used even if the eardrum has been previously perforated
- can be used to remove foreign bodies from the ear
- can be useful in removing excessive discharge caused by ear infections
- can be used in both children and the elderly
The process – less than half an hour to pristine ears
Your ears will first be viewed by our doctor using an otoscope (a special tool for visualising inside the ear canal). This enables him to see whether and how much wax is present, and if there are other problems such as foreign bodies or ear infections.
If ear micro-suction is recommended, you will be asked to lie on a bed and a small cone will be gently placed in your ear.
You will be asked to keep your head still whilst a special operating microscope is positioned to allow your ear canal and ear drum to be clearly seen.
A thin, soft tube attached to a specially designed medical suction device will then be carefully introduced into your ear canal. This is done whilst the microscope provides an excellent view, so there very little chance of damage to the lining of your ear canal or the ear drum.
Wax, or any other material in your ear canal, is gently suctioned away.
On the rare occasion that all the wax or other material can’t be completely removed using micro-suction, your ear will be irrigated using a specially designed ear washing machine. This does involve the introduction of fluid into the ear, but it is done in a much more gentle way than the antiquated practice of syringing.
“The Propulse® NG sets new standards in ear irrigation. Its patented and unique features create an irrigation system that is convenient and patient friendly.”
Please note that a referral from your GP is required for us to claim a Medicare rebate for you. You will be emailed a referral form for your GP to fill out once you make your appointment with us. We can still see you without a referral, but ear micro-suction will cost $120 for one ear or $180 for both ears.
Pricing for ear micro-suction
|One ear||170||(33.70 after Medicare rebate)|
|Two ears||220||(35.10 after Medicare rebate)|
Bulk billing available for health care card holders
$60 ($20.90 after Medicare rebate) is charged if micro-suction is found to be unnecessary
If you would like to learn more about this treatment before making a booking, please call 02 9411 3352 or send us an enquiry using the form below.
Shop 2, 153-157 Victoria Avenue Chatswood
Opening Hours: By Appointment Only