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You are here : AllRefer.com > Health > Diseases & Conditions > Wax blockage

Wax blockage

Alternate Names : Ear impaction, Cerumen impaction, Ear blockage, Ear wax


Definition

Wax blockage is an obstruction of the ear canal with wax (cerumen).

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

The ear canal is lined with hair follicles and glands that produce a waxy oil called cerumen.

Ear wax protects the ear by trapping dust, bacteria and other microorganisms, and other foreign particles to prevent them from entering and damaging the ear. Ear wax also helps protect the delicate skin of the ear canal from becoming irritated when water is in the canal. The wax usually makes its way to the opening of the ear, where it falls out or is removed by washing.

In some people, the glands produce more wax than can be easily removed from the ear. This extra wax may harden in the ear canal and block the ear. More commonly, wax may block the ear canal if you try to clean the ear and accidentally push wax deeper into the ear canal.

Wax blockage is one of the most common causes of hearing loss.

Pictures & Images

Wax blockage in the ear
Wax blockage in the ear

Ear anatomy
Ear anatomy

Medical findings based on ear anatomy
Medical findings based on ear anatomy

   
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Review Date : 10/10/2008
Reviewed By : Alan Lipkin, MD, Otolaryngologist, Private Practice, Denver, Colorado. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.



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