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What Are Complications of Cerumen?

Discussion Cerumen or ear wax is produced in the outer third of the external auditory canal. It contains exfoliated squamous epithelium along with waxy substances. It is controlled by autosomal alleles and has two main phenotypes – “wet” cerumen which is dominant and common in Caucasian and African populations, and “dry” cerumen which is recessive and found more often in Asian populations. Cerumen protects the external canal and has some antibacterial and antifungal properties including against strains of Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeroginosis, and Candida albicans. Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeroginosis are the most common causes of otitis externa. The external auditory canal is a self cleaning mechanism which is assisted by jaw movement. It helps to trap dirt and keep out water. When this self cleaning system fails, cerumen accumulation and potential impaction can occur. Cerumen impaction is defined as “…accumulation that causes symptoms and prevents the needed assessment of the ear canal/tympanic membrane or audiovestibular system or both.” Cerumen impaction is common in children,the elderly and also in developmentally disabled populations. Treatment is by use of cerumenolytics, aural irrigation or manual removal. “Cerumenolytics work by hydrating the desquamated sheets of keratinocytes and by inducing keratinolysis causing disintegration of the cerumen.” A Cochrane Collaboration review foun...
Source: PediatricEducation.org - Category: Pediatrics Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

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