Ear Wax


Ear Wax naturally migrates from the middle aspect of the canal outward.

  • Like a good stove, the ear is “self-cleaning.”
  • Movement of the jaw assists with the nature migration outward.
  • So, anything that interferes with this process can lead to impaction.
    • Anatomic anomalies (ex, stenotic ear canals seen with Down’s Syndrome)
    • Excess cerumen production
    • Ear Plugs
    • Cotton-Tip Applicators
      • Commonly associated with ear wax impaction [Macknin, 1994]
      • Do more harm by pushing ear wax deeper and leaving cotton fibers behind.
      • Good to reinforce avoiding the use of these, or any objects, to insert into the ear canal.
    • Foreign Bodies
    • Hearing Aids

Emergency Medicine Kenya Foundation