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Don’t Ignore Your Earwax Issues

Doctor Examining Senior Female Patient's Ears

Earwax impaction can lead to serious complications. But fear not, the serious ones are few and far between. Cerumen impaction can prevent diagnostic assessment by preventing a full examination of the external auditory canal and/or tympanic membrane (eardrum). Additionally, several audiologic tests cannot be performed accurately because of complete or partial earwax impaction. Treating earwax impaction incorrectly can result in complications such as tympanic membrane perforation, ear canal laceration, infection of the ear, or hearing difficulties.

Tests Hindered by Earwax Impaction Include: 

Audiometry; immittance testing; electrocochleography (ECochG); otoacoustic emissions (OAE); auditory brain stem responses (ABR); and real ear measurements during hearing aid fitting.