Cerumen Management


What is Cerumen

Cerumen, or ear wax, is the product of secretions of an oily substance from the cerumen glands in the ear canal, mixed with skin cells, dirt and dust or foreign bodies. It forms a protective film and provides lubrication within the canal.

For most people cerumen, is a normal and important part of the ear canals self-cleaning mechanism and requires no intervention or treatment. However, in some circumstances, this self-cleaning mechanism can be interrupted this can lead to irritation and impact of cerumen in the ear canal.

Symptoms of excessive or impacted cerumen

  • Hearing loss
  • Pain/itching
  • Tinnitus
  • Fullness or pressure in the ear

Often these symptoms will resolve almost immediately following removal of impacted cerumen.

How to remove cerumen

For cerumen that is not completely obscuring the ear canal or cerumen that is located  loser to the entrance to the ear canal, manual removal can be performed using instruments such wax scoops and curettes and microscopic glasses. Manual removal of cerumen is performed by most Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists and some select Audiologists nurses and can be performed at Cairns Audiology Group.