Introduction

Ear wax is a normal physiological substance which helps protect the ear canal. Impacted ear wax is extremely common.

Epidemiology

  • Incidence: 3000.00 cases per 100,000 person-years
  • Peak incidence: 50-60 years
  • Sex ratio: 1:1
<1 1-5 6+ 16+ 30+ 40+ 50+ 60+ 70+ 80+

Clinical features

Possible features include:

Management

The main treatment options in primary care are ear drops or irrigation ('ear syringing'). Treatment should not be given if a perforation is suspected. The following drops may be used:
  • olive oil
  • sodium bicarbonate 5%
  • almond oil