Otolaryngology Book


Cerumen Impaction

Aka: Cerumen Impaction
  1. Mechanism
    1. Apocrine/Sebaceous Gland secretions produce cerumen
      1. Located in skin lining outer half of canal
      2. Cerumen acidifies canal with lysozymes
        1. Prevents Bacterial and fungal growth
      3. Cerumen is lipid rich and therefore hydrophobic
        1. Prevents skin penetration and maceration
    2. Impaction occurs from attempts to remove cerumen
    3. Exacerbated by swimming and showering
      1. Water moistens and expands cerumen
  2. Symptoms
    1. Otalgia
      1. Cerumen Impaction is painless, unless:
        1. Cerumen touches Tympanic Membrane
        2. Cerumen injures external canal
    2. Hearing Loss
      1. Requires completely obscured canal
      2. Even a tiny hole of patency will maintain hearing
    3. Vertigo or disequilibrium
      1. Associated with cerumen touching Tympanic Membrane
  3. Indications for removal of cerumen
    1. Hearing Loss
    2. Otalgia
    3. Cerumen obscures exam
      1. Diagnosis requires 75% of Tympanic Membrane viewed
      2. Ear evaluation requires cerumen removal in 33% cases
      3. Children under age 1 year more often require removal
  4. Management
    1. Cerumen Softening Agents
      1. Debrox drops
      2. Acetic acid 1.5% with water
      3. Hydrogen peroxide or Benzalkonium chloride
    2. Office cerumen removal
      1. Manual Cerumen Removal
      2. Warm Water Ear Lavage
      3. Cerumen removal by Ear Canal Suction
      4. Cerumen softening before irrigation not effective
        1. Agents that have shown no benefit compared with saline
          1. Triethanolamine polypeptide (Cerumenex) drops
          2. DocusateSodium 1 ml
          3. Carbamide Peroxide
        2. References
          1. Whatley (2003) Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 157:1177 [PubMed]
          2. Roland (2004) Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 130 [PubMed]
  5. Prevention
    1. Do not use cotton swabs in the ear canal
    2. Only further impacts present cerumen
  6. References
    1. Singer (2000) Ann Emerg Med 36:228-32 [PubMed]

Impacted cerumen (C0021092)

Concepts Finding (T033)
ICD9 380.4
ICD10 H61.2
SnomedCT 155214004, 194230008, 18070006
LNC LA15481-7
Italian Tappo di cerume
Dutch cerumenprop, oorsmeerprop, cerumen; impactie, impactie; cerumen, Cerumenprop, cerumen samengeperst
French Cérumen impacté, Cérumen enclavé, Inclusion de cérumen
Portuguese Rolhão de cerúmen, Retenção de cerume
Spanish Cera impactada, Cerumen impactado, cerumen impactado (trastorno), cerumen impactado, Impactación de cerumen
Japanese 耳垢栓塞, ジコウセンソク
English cerumen impaction, impacted earwax, cerumen impaction (diagnosis), cerumen impactions, impacted wax, impacted cerumen, cerumen impacted, impact cerumen, Cerumen impaction, Impacted cerumen (wax in ear), Impacted wax (disorder), Impacted wax, Impacted cerumen (disorder), cerumen; impaction, impaction; cerumen, Impacted cerumen
German Zeruminalpfropf, Ohrpfropf
Czech Mazová zátka, Cerumen obturans, Zaklíněné cerumen
Korean 귀지떡
Hungarian Impactált cerumen, cerumen impactio, Impactált fülzsír
Derived from the NIH UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)

You are currently viewing the original 'fpnotebook.com\legacy' version of this website. Internet Explorer 8.0 and older will automatically be redirected to this legacy version.

If you are using a modern web browser, you may instead navigate to the newer desktop version of fpnotebook. Another, mobile version is also available which should function on both newer and older web browsers.

Please Contact Me as you run across problems with any of these versions on the website.

Navigation Tree