Ear syringing is a method used for ear wax removal that was commonly used before ear irrigation gained popularity. It was the last resort for people suffering from blocked ears and turned to only when ear wax drops and other home remedies provided no relief. In previous years, an old-fashioned syringe was used to pump in water and flush out any ear wax accumulated over time. However, they are no longer used and the medical community has switched to low-pressure plastic syringes.
Ear syringing is only effective at ear wax removal if the ear wax has not completely blocked the ear canal and the process is performed in the prescribed manner. There are kits available over-the-counter and they are fairly inexpensive. Most people perform the ear wax removal at home and they find it therapeutic. The syringe can remove a large amount of ear wax and save you a trip to the doctor’s. But there are many risks involved which is why it is not recommended.
Risks Attached to Ear Syringing
The procedure is supposed to be carried out with an otoscope that is a small torch that allows the doctor to look inside the ear. But if the medical personnel does not know how to use the instrument properly or uses one with a poor light then it can become dangerous. It is important that the person who performs the procedure is familiar with ear conditions and recognizes the landmarks. Squirting water inside the ear without looking can damage the ear instead of cleaning it.
The person performing the procedure can be incompetent and follow the standard procedure leading to unsuccessful removal. If the temperature of the water is not at RTP or the person does not stop the procedure if the patient is feeling discomfort then it can cause problems.
Infections and Diseases
Ear syringing can lead to many medical complications the risks of which are often disregarded by medical professionals. Syringing equipment has to be properly cleaned using sterilised water otherwise it can lead to an infection. Aggressive syringing can also remove the waterproof layer in the ear canal and leave behind dead skin once the wax dissolves in water. Moist skin or a wet ear can also make the ear prone to an infection which can then progress into an acute or chronic ailment.
When You Should See a Doctor
Those who produce more ear wax than normal or have unusually sticky ear wax with an unpleasant odour should seek professional help. All the symptoms point to bacteria in the ear which should be taken care of as soon as possible before an infection develops.
Preparing for the Procedure
If you are still going to go for the syringing process then you should at least soften the ear wax before the procedure. This reduces the risk of hard plugs of earwax being blasted deep inside the ear canal can lead to a bigger blockage and can even damage the eardrum. The ear wax can be softened using a medicated oil or olive oil.