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Clinical Profile and Management Audit of Ear Wax Impaction in Owerri, South East Nigeria

Ear wax impaction is a common daily otolaryngology clinic presentation cutting across age group, sex and race, yet our sub-region has little knowledge and research on this common disease.

Objective: To clinically profile patients with ear wax and audit our current management practice in the Federal Medical Centre Owerri, South East Nigeria and to make recommendation where appropriate. Design. Hospital based retrospective study. Setting: Federal Medical Center Owerri, South East Nigeria. Subjects/Participants: Patients clinically diagnosed with ear wax impaction from January to December 2010.

ResultsA total of 338 patients presented with ear wax, of the 3,375 patients that attended the ENT clinic during the period under review accounting for 10.01% prevalence rate. 150 (44.4%) were males while 188 (55.6%) were females giving a M:F ratio of 1:1.3. Commonest predisposing factor was cotton swab abuse in 26 (7.7%) patients. Aural syringing after use of cerumenolytic agents in 272 (80.5%) patients with wax impaction was the commonest treatment modality. There were no recorded complications.

Conclusion: Ear wax impaction is a common clinical entity in our sub-region. Treatment is simple and safe; but ignorance remains a major challenge.

Author(s): Ibiam Fa I Nduagu S , Obasikene G , Mbata G