Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Ear Wax Blocking the Ear Evaluation

The evaluation of cerumen impaction begins with a history and physical exam.

Physical findings of cerumen impaction may include:

  • Plugged ear canal
  • Inability to see the eardrum on the affected side.

Tests that may be used to evaluate cerumen impaction include:
  • Culture of the fluid draining from the canal
  • Many people can detect this problem at home. An inexpensive otoscope can be purchased at most pharmacies for under $20.00. With a little practice, it is easy to see when the canal is blocked with wax.

Continue to Ear Wax Blocking the Ear Treatment

Last Updated: Dec 7, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Ear Wax Blocking the Ear References
  1. Kelly KE, Mohs DC. The external auditory canal. Anatomy and physiology. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 1996 Oct;29(5):725-39. [8893213]
  2. Yueh B, Shapiro N, MacLean CH, Shekelle PG. Screening and management of adult hearing loss in primary care: scientific review. JAMA. 2003 Apr 16;289(15):1976-85. [1269780]
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