More than 12 million Americans go to their physician each year for cerumen (earwax) removal. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, excessive or impacted earwax is present in 1 in 10 children, 1 in 20 adults, and more than one-third of the geriatric population.
For audiologists and ENT physicians in clinical practice, removal of excessive cerumen is often a daily part of clinical practice.
The options available to date for professional cerumen removal haven’t change much over the past few decades:
- Lavage or irrigation of the ear canals
- Manual removal with curette and/or forceps
Each of the above mentioned procedures for wax removal have their own pros and cons with respect to whether a professional would opt with one type over the other. Whether it’s simply a matter of limited time and efficiency, or perhaps safety concerns due to TM perforation, etc
EarWay Pro Wax Removal Tool
Over the summer, we were contacted by the team at EarWays Medical to see if we would like to review their EarWay Pro wax removal tool.
They sent multiple sizes of the tools to accommodate a range of ear canal sizes – Small, Medium and Large sizes.
The unique helix shape at the end is designed to pull the wax out through a gentle twisting motion. The measurement marker on the handle is used to provide guidance as you insert the device into the canal to ensure you aren’t going too deep into the ear.
“Based on innovative, patent-pending technology, EarWay®Pro is designed with a flexible helical open profile tip, for easy navigation in the ear canal. Guaranteeing maximal ear hygiene, this single-use device is rotated inward into the ear, collecting the cerumen and extracting it from the ear canal as a single cluster. The clinically tested device ensures that the cerumen is not pushed back into the ear canal during the extraction. The novel design of the EarWay®Pro enables access to the ear canal without need for expensive visualisation equipment.”
A tutorial of the process is shown below.
Experience Using EarWay Pro
After successfully using the EarWay Pro on several different patients in a full service audiology practice, it was found to be quite effective in most cases.
It was well tolerated by nearly all the patients, with the exception of 2 that it didn’t work well for. These issues encountered were deemed to be primarily due to lack of experience using the EarWay Pro – as excessively hard wax will need to be softened for a few minutes before the tool can do the job properly (approximately 5mins for a hard wax impaction should be all that’s needed in most cases), which would also be the case with other forms of removal. Additionally, we found the tool to be less effective on one patient with very flaky wax.
When done properly, the tool often gets the vast majority of the wax out of the canal in one large piece, allowing for better visualization of the tympanic membrane (TM).
The disposable nature of the EarWay Pro also makes it especially appealing today in terms of infection control, which has taken on a new level of importance with COVID-19.
There is no single tool that works perfectly for all ears when it comes to wax removal, but some are certainly more effective than others. The EarWay Pro offers a simple and easy method to address a common problem in hearing healthcare, which might save you clinic time and prevent unnecessary referrals.
Interested readers can learn more at the company’s website here.