The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation has issued the first comprehensive clinical guidelines for assessment, management, and treatment of impacted cerumen, or earwax (Roland PS et al. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2008;139:S1-S21).
Although the problem seldom gains physician interest, it leads to about 12 million patient visits annually in the United States, resulting in about 8 million removal procedures.
While it may seem odd that clinical guidelines had never been written about a condition that results in so many patient visits, it is not that surprising to Richard M. Rosenfeld, MD, MPH, a coauthor and chair of otolaryngology at the Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, NY.
Mitka M. Cerumen Removal Guidelines Wax Practical. JAMA. 2008;300(13):1506. doi:10.1001/jama.300.13.1506