Cerumen impaction

Cerumen Impaction

Cerumen impaction is a condition in which earwax builds up in the ear canal, causing pain, hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness in the ear. The earwax is produced naturally by the body and helps protect the ear from debris, dust, and infection. When it becomes impacted, however, it can cause uncomfortable symptoms.

Impacted earwax often occurs when ear wax accumulates over time in the ear canal. This can be caused by over-cleaning, insufficient earwax production, and, occasionally, by pushing foreign objects deep in the ear. There are several possible symptoms of cerumen impaction, including:

  • Pain or pressure in the ear
  • Hearing loss
  • Discharge from the ear
  • Ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
  • Coughing
  • Itching or vertigo

The diagnosis of cerumen impaction usually involves a physical examination of the ear. Your doctor may use an otoscope, a lighted instrument that can magnify the ear canal, to examine for earwax buildup. They may also take a sample of the earwax for further examination.

Treatment for earwax buildup usually involves removing the wax either manually or through flushing. Manual removal typically involves using a cotton swab, irrigation tool, or other instrument to gently remove the earwax. Your doctor may also flush your ear with a solution to soften the wax, which can then be removed with suction. Surgery may be necessary in some cases to remove impacted earwax.

To prevent cerumen impaction, avoid using cotton swabs or any other objects to clean the inside of your ear. Also, avoid placing foreign objects in the ear. If you have any symptoms of cerumen impaction, seek medical attention as soon as possible.