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Ear Wax Lawrence Pike. Introduction Ear Wax (Cerumen) is a natural protective oily substance which is produced in the outer third of the ear canal Ear.

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Presentation on theme: "Ear Wax Lawrence Pike. Introduction Ear Wax (Cerumen) is a natural protective oily substance which is produced in the outer third of the ear canal Ear."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ear Wax Lawrence Pike

2 Introduction Ear Wax (Cerumen) is a natural protective oily substance which is produced in the outer third of the ear canal Ear Wax (Cerumen) is a natural protective oily substance which is produced in the outer third of the ear canal Its function is to remove small foreign particles, such as dust, from the canal Its function is to remove small foreign particles, such as dust, from the canal This is achieved by the ciliary hairs. This is achieved by the ciliary hairs.

3 Symptoms Diminished hearing Diminished hearing – often of sudden onset after cleaning the ears Discomfort Discomfort –seldom complain of pain unless the wax is pressing on the drum Tinnitus occasionally Tinnitus occasionally

4 Educational Points Wax is a normal physiological substance which has an important role in protecting the ear canal Wax is a normal physiological substance which has an important role in protecting the ear canal The ear canal is a self-cleaning system, do not to use cotton buds as wax is more likely to be pushed back against the eardrum and become impacted. The ear canal is a self-cleaning system, do not to use cotton buds as wax is more likely to be pushed back against the eardrum and become impacted. Ear wax only needs to be removed if it causes symptoms or if a proper view of the eardrum is needed. Ear wax only needs to be removed if it causes symptoms or if a proper view of the eardrum is needed.

5 Self Care Assess if: Assess if: –Child –Pain –Discharge from the ear –Known perforation of the eardrum –Previous mastoid surgery

6 Self Care Ear drops to soften ear wax (ceruminolytics) may be used as the only treatment in mild cases. Ear drops to soften ear wax (ceruminolytics) may be used as the only treatment in mild cases. There are many different preparations on the market, none with any clear clinical advantage compared to the others. There are many different preparations on the market, none with any clear clinical advantage compared to the others. There is some suggestion that sodium bicarbonate may be particularly effective at disintegrating ear wax. There is some suggestion that sodium bicarbonate may be particularly effective at disintegrating ear wax. A simple home remedy is olive oil, warmed by pouring onto a warm spoon. A simple home remedy is olive oil, warmed by pouring onto a warm spoon. Preparations containing organic solvents are particularly likely to cause irritation and inflammation of the external ear canal and should be avoided. Preparations containing organic solvents are particularly likely to cause irritation and inflammation of the external ear canal and should be avoided.

7 Primary Care Treatment In more severe cases use of a ceruminolytic ear drop for 4 to 5 days prior to syringing is advisable In more severe cases use of a ceruminolytic ear drop for 4 to 5 days prior to syringing is advisable Removal with wax hook is also an option Removal with wax hook is also an option

8 Ear Syringing Ear syringing has been shown to improve hearing in those with impacted wax Ear syringing has been shown to improve hearing in those with impacted wax The lowest pressure possible should be used. The lowest pressure possible should be used. It is best avoided if It is best avoided if – the eardrum is known or suspected to be perforated –there is a history of mastoid surgery or chronic middle ear disease –If patient has unilateral deafness –A history of recurrent otitis externa or tinnitus


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