Gordon H. Sun, MD, MS


February 15, 2017

First Case: How Common Is Earwax?

A 74-year-old nursing home resident was brought by her aide to an appointment with her new primary care physician. The patient reported no complaints other than some itchiness in both of her ears. The aide said that the patient used to have her ears cleaned regularly by her previous provider.

The patient denied any history of ear surgery or hearing aid use. She reported taking a single medication for hypertension and had no known drug allergies.

Physical examination demonstrated a frail but otherwise alert and cooperative woman with normal vital signs. Otoscopy demonstrated large impactions of brownish cerumen bilaterally. There was no pain with palpation of the mastoids or movement of the auricles. The remainder of the head and neck exam was unremarkable.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.