Cerumen (ear wax) is a naturally occurring, normal product of the ear canal. In most patients, cerumen is asymptomatic, but occasionally it can accumulate and cause complications such as hearing loss, pain, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), or dizziness. Most often, cerumen will need to be removed prior to testing to ensure that it is not impacting test results. Referral to an Otolaryngologist for further evaluation may be necessary.
It is important that patients do not to use q-tips as a means of removing cerumen from the ear canals. In some cases, it can cause the ear wax to move further down into the ear canal, making extraction more difficult and risking potential damage to the ear drum.
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