The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

The safety and effectiveness of different methods of ear wax removal: a systematic review and economic evaluation

Record type: Article

Ear wax (cerumen) is a natural secretion produced to protect the inner ear from dirt and other fragments by moving these particles towards the outer ear. If this process does not happen properly, wax may build up causing blockage in the ear canal and the possibility of impaction. People with a build up of ear wax may suffer from hearing loss, discomfort and, on occasions, infection. It may present problems in assessing hearing, blocking the view of the ear drum during medical examination and interfering with the fitting or function of hearing aids. Although it is thought to affect between 2% and 6% of the population in the England and Wales, some groups may be at a higher risk, such as those using hearing aids or with small ear canals and/or skin conditions. Recurrence is thought to be high among some of these groups. The consequences of the build up of ear wax in the ear canal are thought to be a common reason for consultation and cost in general practice with over 2 million consultations per year in the NHS.

Methods of removal of ear wax include drops, flushing with water in general practice, and removal with suction or probes in specialist clinics. The relative safety and benefits of these different methods of removal remains uncertain. This research will systematically review published and unpublished evidence on the clinical and cost effectiveness of different methods for the removal of ear wax. Where appropriate, it will develop an economic model using data from this systematic review and other relevant sources to estimate the relative costs and benefits of different methods. In addition, the project will provide recommendations for future research to try to help answer any remaining areas of uncertainty.

PDF mon1428.pdf - Version of Record
Download (1MB)

Citation

Clegg, A., Loveman, E., Gospodarevskaya, E., Harris, P., Bird, A., Bryant, J., Scott, D.A., Davidson, P., Little, P. and Coppin, R. (2010) The safety and effectiveness of different methods of ear wax removal: a systematic review and economic evaluation Health Technology Assessment, 14, (28), pp. 1-191. (doi:10.3310/hta14280). (PMID:20546687).

More information

Published date: 2010
Keywords: earwax, systematic review, cost effectiveness, economic evaluation

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 153113
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/153113
ISSN: 1366-5278
PURE UUID: 477e8e19-5925-48af-b871-dcb519f99574
ORCID for P. Davidson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0388-6356

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 18 May 2010 13:53
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 12:52

Export record

Altmetrics

Contributors

Author: A. Clegg
Author: E. Loveman
Author: E. Gospodarevskaya
Author: P. Harris
Author: A. Bird
Author: J. Bryant
Author: D.A. Scott
Author: P. Davidson ORCID iD
Author: P. Little
Author: R. Coppin

University divisions


Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×