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December 19, 2019

Permanent Facial Paralysis and Hearing Loss After Aural Irrigation

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Leeds School of Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
  • 2Department of ENT, Worthing Hospital, Worthing, United Kingdom
  • 3Department of ENT, Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, East Sussex, United Kingdom
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. Published online December 19, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2019.3943

Removal of cerumen can be achieved through different methods, which each have advantages and disadvantages. One method is aural irrigation, which carries a risk of tympanic perforation or otitis externa. More serious complications are rare but important to recognize. We report the first case of permanent facial palsy and hearing loss following aural irrigation, to our knowledge. This is a unique report of a rare but important complication of aural irrigation: tympanic membrane perforation and infection, with subsequent permanent facial palsy and mixed hearing loss.