Is it safe to use an ear wax removal camera?
The ear wax removal camera
Ear wax removal cameras are huge on social media. There are hundreds of thousands of videos for you to enjoy someone cleaning their ears. They all offer a light at the end of the tunnel (excuse our pun) approach to cleaning your ears. However, the biggest question is, “Are they safe?”.
What is an ear wax removal camera?
Before we start, let’s chat about what an ear wax removal camera is. They are generally small pen-like devices with inbuilt batteries, lights and a digital camera that connect to your smart device by a cable or wireless to give you a view of your ear canal.
The tool normally comes with a selection of removable tips and allows users to stream images from inside their ears to a device as they manipulate the tip to remove wax.
What can you do to remove ear wax safely?
Here at Clear Wax Solutions, we use the gentle and effective method of irrigation, formerly known as ear stringing to help aid ear wax removal. The method we use is as recommended by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence). For more details on our service, please follow https://clearwaxsolutions.co.uk/services/ear-wax-removal/.
From a consumer’s perspective, they offer a relatively cheap and fascinating visualisation of the inside of your ear, something we rarely see. They are available from many online businesses and offer easy integration with our smart devices – it’s like having another RING™ product but for your ears!
From a healthcare professional’s perspective, there are no pros to these devices as without the professional training or understanding, and with everybody’s ears being unique in some way, what is normal? And what is abnormal? We all need wax in our ears; being too clean can cause more harm than good.
From a consumer’s perspective, they are very hard to use, with the picture quality and movement lag annoying and poor at best. Depth perception is also virtually impossible to gauge. How far do I go in with the tip? Is the wax to the eardrum? Which way is left? Which way is right? How do I keep my hand still enough to remove what I can see?
From a healthcare professional’s perspective, just because an ear wax camera allows you to see inside the ear doesn’t mean that you know what you are looking at. If your ear is full or hearing impaired, is it because of wax or because you have another condition that ear cleaning will not alleviate?
This untrained view of the ear canal inside can lead to the real risk of causing significant and lasting trauma if used inappropriately to remove wax.
A few facts you may not be aware of – the ear canal has a very sensitive skin lining which is extremely easy to damage. It is only 2.5 centimetres (25mm), or 1 inch in length, with the thickness of the eardrum being 0.1mm.
Do we use an ear wax camera?
If any of these tools worked well, we would use them to remove ear wax.
However, we use specialist cameras to document and show our clients any abnormalities or defects within their ear canal or eardrum. We can provide a written report that can be forwarded to their GP.
We pinpoint the cause of an issue rather than just cleaning around it!
Ear irrigation information
The procedure involves gently pulsating warm water into the ear canal via a nozzle inserted at the start of the ear canal. The water dislodges the wax from the ear and is collected in a collection cup.
Some people find this procedure soothing; others describe it as odd; however, you should not feel any pain.
Please note that we use specialist ear irrigation machines designed for this procedure, NOT an ear syringe.
Ear wax removal drops information
There are many products available for the softening of ear wax. We recommend using either olive oil drops or spray, as they are not irritating or contain harsh chemicals, administered twice a day for 5 to 7 days before an appointment. If you are unsure about how to apply olive oil drops, please visit our FAQ section https://clearwaxsolutions.co.uk/faq/ for more info.
Ear drops can be bought online, Visit our online shop. https://clearwaxsolutions.co.uk/shop/
So, are they safe?
In simple terms, a trained professional should only perform the physical removal of ear wax. The bottom line is don’t try this at home as there is a real and significant risk of trauma, or at worst, a perforation can be caused with lasting consequences.
Remember the old saying – don’t stick anything smaller than your elbow in your ear!