Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Ear Wax Blocking the Ear Overview

Another name for Ear Wax Blocking the Ear is Cerumen Impaction.

What is a cerumen impaction?
A person with a cerumen impaction has an ear canal that is plugged with earwax. Cerumen is a term used to describe earwax, which is made by the cells that line the ear canal. Cerumen is a protective coating that prevents dust and bacteria from reaching the eardrum. Normally, cerumen flows from the inside of the ear canal, to the opening of the ear canal. Occasionally, cerumen builds-up and blocks the ear canal.

What are the symptoms of a cerumen impaction?
Symptoms of cerumen impaction include hearing loss, mild ear pain, ringing in the ears, popping noises, and dizziness, and vertigo.

How does the doctor treat a cerumen impaction?
Treatment for cerumen impaction can often be performed at home using ear drops that dissolve wax followed by irrigation using a bulb syringe. More difficult impactions may need to be removed at the doctor's office.

Continue to Ear Wax Blocking the Ear Symptoms

Last Updated: Aug 25, 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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