What is cerumen?
- Commonly referred to as “ear wax.”
- A waxy substance naturally secreted by the sebaceous glands of the ear.
- Helps lubricate the ear and protect it from infection.
What is cerumen impaction and what are the symptoms?
- A total or near‐total blockage of the ear canal by cerumen.
- Symptoms include ear pain, itching, ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and gradual hearing loss over several months.
How is cerumen impaction treated?
- The presence of impacted cerumen may require removal by a physician oraudiologist.
- The physician or audiologist uses special equipment to safely and effectively removecerumen from the ear.
- In some cases, eardrops are prescribed to soften the cerumen before removal.
Should I try to remove cerumen myself?
- Cerumen removal instruments such as cotton swabs and techniques such as “candling” are not recommended.
- These methods may push wax further into the ear canal and could cause damage to the ear.
- Talk with your audiologist or primary care physician about effective treatment for cerumen impaction.
Hearing Education Center > Disease Diagnosis & Treatment > Cerumen Impaction