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Cerumen Impaction


Overview :

Cerumen impaction develops when earwax accumulates in the inner part of the ear canal and blocks the eardrum. It affects between 2%-6% of the general population in the United States. Impaction does not happen under normal circumstances because cerumen is produced by glands in the outer part of the ear canal; it is not produced in the inner part. The cerumen traps sand or dust particles before they reach the ear drum. It also protects the outer part of the ear canal because it repels water. The slow movement of the outer layer of skin of the ear canal carries cerumen toward the outer opening of the ear. As the older cerumen reaches the opening of the ear, it dries out and falls away.




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