Recommended Treatments Issued for Cerumen Impaction

September 3, 2008

Health care providers should treat symptomatic cerumen impactions or impactions that inhibit a clinical exam of the ear, according to the clinical practice guideline issued by the American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, published in the September issue of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Health care providers should treat symptomatic cerumen impactions or impactions that inhibit a clinical exam of the ear, according to the clinical practice guideline issued by the American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, published in the September issue of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

Peter S. Roland, M.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, and colleagues from a multidisciplinary guideline development panel representing audiology, family medicine, geriatrics, internal medicine, nursing, otolaryngology -- head and neck surgery, and pediatrics performed a comprehensive literature search and developed a clinical practice guideline on cerumen impaction. All guidelines are supported by statements indicating the strength of evidence to support the recommendation.

The strongest recommendation was for treatment of symptomatic cerumen impactions and for those inhibiting a pertinent physical exam, the authors note. The guidelines also recommend appropriate diagnostic techniques for impactions, identification of high-risk groups, and review efficacy of multiple treatment strategies.

"This guideline provides evidence-based recommendations on managing cerumen impaction, defined as an accumulation of cerumen that causes symptoms, prevents assessment of the ear, or both," the authors write. They caution, "this clinical practice guideline is not intended as a sole source of guidance in managing cerumen impaction. Rather, it is designed to assist clinicians by providing an evidence-based framework for decision-making strategies."

Several of the study authors report financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

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