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Ear Cleaning FAQs

hearing-aid-wearers

General

Sore, itchy ears can be caused by a variety of conditions and irritants.

Dry wax can cause a lot of itching, when you visit our nurses for removal of your wax, they will be able to recommend products or methods to reduce itchiness in the future.

 If your ears are blocked with wax, removal may help your ears to equalise during transit, therefore this should reduce the pain. We offer a full assessment of your ear health history and can suggest tips on diminishing ear pain while flying.

Good question. When you have syringing at the doctors you need to oil your ears for days. However we can just clear them on the day without drops if it’s a moderate build up. However, with young children we do require wax softening drops prior to the appointment – please click here for more information.  If you have grommets or a perforation (hole) in your ear drum/s, it is important that you do not place any drops in your ears, unless prescribed by your GP.

Good on you for looking after your hearing. Ear muffs heat the ear canals up by 700% for some people this make the ears produce extra wax and it needs removing. Studies have shown a build up of ear wax can decrease your hearing by 10 to 25db which causes a mild to moderate hearing loss, so it’s important to have your ears cleared for safety reasons.

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Exostoses

Surfers, swimmers, and divers are often exposed to cold water and wind. In response to the harsh combination, the ears attempt to protect the sensitive ear drum by producing bony growths.

However, unfortunately the growths do not diminish, in fact, they often continue to grow. Overtime, this causes narrowing of the ear canal, which in turn, can cause issues such as water trapping leading to infections, tinnitus, moist migrating skin, and hearing difficulties.

Micro-suction can help to remove the moist migrating skin and ear wax to prevent infections and future blocking. We cannot remove the bony overgrowths themselves – this requires surgery.

Yes, it is often called that.

Ear Plugs are the recommended prevention against Surfer’s ear. See here.

Outer Ear Infection

also referred to as swimmers’ ear or otitis externa

When the ear canal is exposed to water or moisture it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus. An excessive amount of ear wax can trap water in the canal, making an individual prone to infection.

Our Registered Nurses (ear experts) use a highly magnified view of the ear canal – this allows a clear view to identify the type of infection (bacterial or fungal). Next, the infected debris is removed with the gentle vacuum. By removing the debris, it allows medicated ear drops to attack the infection more efficiently) as well as, preventing additional bacteria or fungus from growing back.

If you are prone to ear infections, regular ear wax removal prevents water trapping.

After microsuction, the RN may recommend a medicated ear drop to aid in clearing the infection – you may need to visit your GP who will assess these recommendations. It is quite common to return for 2-3 sessions of micro-suction if your infection is on-going or more aggressive. Our Registered Nurses will provide tips and recommendations in regards to clearing and preventing ear infections.

Yes. We’ve teamed up with a trusted GP to treat ear infections with medicated drops and/or antibiotics within 24 hours of your microsuction appointment.

In order to create the e-script, please ensure you bring your Medicare card or IHI number. E-scripts are a $30 out-of-pocket fee, bulk billing is only available if you physically present to your bulk billing GP.

Ear infection symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Heat
  • Pain or discomfort in the ear
  • Discharge of pus
  • Itching
  • Excessive fluid drainage
  • Muffled or diminished hearing
  • Facial, head or neck pain

Ear Wax

also referred to as swimmers’ ear or otitis externa

When the ear canal is exposed to water or moisture it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus. An excessive amount of ear wax can trap water in the canal, making an individual prone to infection.

Our Registered Nurses (ear experts) use a highly magnified view of the ear canal – this allows a clear view to identify the type of infection (bacterial or fungal). Next, the infected debris is removed with the gentle vacuum. By removing the debris, it allows medicated ear drops to attack the infection more efficiently) as well as, preventing additional bacteria or fungus from growing back.

If you are prone to ear infections, regular ear wax removal prevents water trapping.

After microsuction, the RN may recommend a medicated ear drop to aid in clearing the infection – you may need to visit your GP who will assess these recommendations. It is quite common to return for 2-3 sessions of micro-suction if your infection is on-going or more aggressive. Our Registered Nurses will provide tips and recommendations in regards to clearing and preventing ear infections.

Yes. We’ve teamed up with a trusted GP to treat ear infections with medicated drops and/or antibiotics within 24 hours of your microsuction appointment.

In order to create the e-script, please ensure you bring your Medicare card or IHI number. E-scripts are a $31 out-of-pocket fee, bulk billing is only available if you physically present to your bulk billing GP.

Ear infection symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Heat
  • Pain or discomfort in the ear
  • Discharge of pus
  • Itching
  • Excessive fluid drainage
  • Muffled or diminished hearing
  • Facial, head or neck pain

Children

Yes! Children from four years of age are eligible to visit us for ear wax removal.

Children under the age of six make extremely hard wax, therefore we require preparation prior to the appointment. Placing drops in the ears allows for an effortless, efficient, and comfortable ear wax removal procedure.

  • The parent or caregiver needs to place 2-3 drops of olive oil or softening drops in the child’s ears, twice a day, 3 days prior to their appointment. Unfortunately, if the nurse can see no sign of this preparation, your child will not be able to have wax removal and you will be required to make another appointment at least three days after, unless stated otherwise.
  • This preparation is vital as your child needs to stay still during the procedure. Most children will not sit still if their wax is rock hard, as the ear will be tender and uncomfortable – causing the child to become distressed.

Please DO NOT use olive oil

You will need to visit your child’s GP and request medicated ear drops (sofradex) to put in your child’s ears in cases of:

  • Ventilation tubes (grommets)
  • Perforation (hole in ear drum)
  • Suspected Ear Infection

Middle and inner ear infection

Fluid build up in the inner or middle ear.

 

Our Registered Nurses can remove ear wax from your outer ear (from the ear canal down to the ear drum). This may help to relieve pressure off the ear drum if your ears are sore. They can also inspect the appearance of your ear drum, which may indicate the severity of your middle or inner ear infection.

No, a surgical procedure is required via surgery to help release fluid behind the ear drum.

Dizziness / Vertigo

It is very rare – it is estimated that one in every 750 patients will experience slight dizziness after the procedure. However, this is temporary and usually only lasts for about 30 seconds.

Perforation & Grommets

Yes. Microsuction is considered the preferred method of ear wax removal for those with a perforation or grommets. Syringing (injecting water into the ear canal) should be avoided for those with these conditions as the liquid causes infection in the middle/inner ear.

Ear surgery

Yes. Microsuction is generally the only recommended wax removal procedure for individuals who have had ear surgery as it is considered the most gentle.

Foreign objects

Bugs, leaves, animal fur, hearing aid domes, cotton buds, cotton tips, food, stickers – any item that does not originate from your ear canal.

The nurse may use a combination of the suction and fine tools (aural toileting).

Hearing aid wearers

Yes! Microsuction is the preferred method of ear wax removal for hearing aid wearers, as it is efficient and is considered the most gentle ear wax removal procedure. Having the ears clear of wax helps your hearing aids to work to the best of their ability.

Hearing aids sit where the wax is made in the ear, the wax can stop the sound of the tiny receiver getting through the ear canal and cause feedback (whistling). When this occurs, it’s time for your regular wax removal appointment.

Most hearing aid wearers require microsuction once or twice yearly* for those with narrow ear canals, microsuction may be required quarterly.

*This is a general guide; some individuals may require microsuction more regularly depending on their ear wax production.

Yes! You should be able to hear much clearer afterwards.

 

Having the ears clear of wax allows for an accurate reading of your hearing’s sound and pitch. Therefore, your audiologist can adjust your hearing aids to the perfect level and have a true depiction of your hearing.

General Practitioners and Audiologists

No, a referral is not required

 

Yes, children from the age of four can visit our clinic for removal of ear wax, foreign objects, and outer ear infection debris.

 

The use of drops prior to microsuction is not required unless multiple attempts of syringing have been made with no success, or a child is under six years of age.

 

Microsuction is very thorough, therefore it removes all ear wax. Ear wax softening drops are not usually required prior to the procedure; however syringing often pushes the ear wax further down the canal and on to the eardrum, causing impacted wax. Therefore, to remove the wax efficiently, ear wax softening drops are required for 2-3 days prior to the procedure in this case.

 

Our Registered Nurses assesses the ear canal with a microscopic headset or a surgical microscope, it allows her to view particles and identify the type of infection (bacterial/fungal) if it is not able to identified, a swap can be taken to confirm. Once the debris has been removed, the RN will make recommendations on a treatment plan – including medicated ear drop options and how the infection can be managed or prevented.

 

Earphones and Earplugs

Ear plugs, earmuffs, phone headsets and other in ear devices make the ears produce more ear wax. Most people who use these devices require this procedure once or twice annually.

Appointments & Fees

A referral is not necessary to visit the clinic, however appointments are essential – we currently do not take walk ins.

Payment methods accepted: eftpos, debit, credit cards, AMEX, applepay, samsungpay, googlepay, afterpay and zippay.

If no microsuction is required or performed, a consultation fee of $65 applies.

We offer a discount to new patients who display their concession card ($110 for initial visit), this gap is not filled.

This is a private clinic – a Registered Nurse with special interest in ears performs the procedure, however Registered Nurses do not get issued with medicare provider numbers. Therefore, appointments at Ear Cleaning Clinic are not covered by Medicare.

Nevertheless, some small health funds and aged care/disability providers do cover this service, if you have extras/top cover with health funds a rebate may be possible – please check directly with your health care provider as we do not have a HICAPS machine.

Unfortunately DVA will not cover this service unless it is determined that exceptional circumstances exist for the client. This is due to the fact that sadly registered nurses are not funded to provide services under the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS).

Where it is recognised that exceptional circumstances do exist for a client, DVA will consider these unique circumstances on a case by case basis, as provisions may exist to provide funding as a one-off.
In considering these requests, the patients GP and Ear Cleaning Clinic need to provide strong clinical justification for funding to be considered outside of DVA policy.

Please contact DVA directly if further information or clarification is required.

No, we currently do not take walk ins.

If you are planning to book an appointment for a child 10 years old or under, please do not book online.

To make an appointment for a child, please call or email clinic as a longer appointment is required.

Also see further information about Children and Ear Wax Removal here >>

Yes. Our Registered Nurses are AHPRA Division One and have undertaken extensive practical and theoretical training specifically focused on microsuction ear wax removal and ear health.

Ear Cleaning Clinic is the only Gold Coast medical clinic that exclusively provides microsuction ear wax removal, our lovely Nurses perform microsuction all day, everyday (they’re the experts)!

Unfortunately it is a breach of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia’s policy for a nurse to endorse himself/herself for financial gain. Section 133 of the National Law states that a person must not advertise a regulated health service using testimonials about the service or business. Ear Cleaning Clinic has had many clients who have written testimonials and would love to have them displayed, however it is against the law.

A New Patient Appointment is $135.

The fee for Existing Patients, Pensioners and Health Care Card Holders is $110.

If no microsuction is required or performed, a consultation fee of $65 applies.