There’s a new ‘headset’ that supposedly flushes out impacted earwax – how does it work


WHO MIGHT BE SUITABLE TO USE THE DEVICE?

“The OtoSet device may be suitable for individuals who have uncomplicated earwax and are looking for a convenient home-based solution,” said Dr Tham. “However, it is not suitable for those with ear infections, perforated eardrums or other ear-related conditions.”

If you do decide to get it, Dr Tan highlighted that the device should not be used every day. “Daily irrigation is unnecessary and in fact, probably dangerous, as it would lead to excessive moisture in the ear canal. This is something to be avoided as it may lead to infections of the ear canal.”

Moreover, earwax does have its functions, said Dr Tham. “Earwax carries dead skin cells and debris out of our ears, moisturises and protects against bacterial and fungal infections. Daily cleaning can potentially lead to irritation or disrupt the ear’s natural self-cleaning mechanism.”

CAN THERE BE HEALTH RISKS?

“Any irrigation of the ear canal carries the potential risk of causing excessive trauma to the eardrum, which can lead to perforations,” cautioned Dr Tan. “Improperly fitted ear inserts can also damage the skin of the ear canal, causing pain and potentially leading to ear infections.”

He added that the safest method for earwax removal “generally involves direct visualisation with a microscope and precise tools or micro-suctioning”. “This approach allows for careful monitoring and reduces the likelihood of causing damage to the ear canal and eardrum.”

To be safe, Dr Tham advised “to consult a healthcare professional to exclude any pre-existing ear conditions prior to using the device”.



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