Ear wax build up
Wax is produced in the ear canal to help protect the ear by trapping foreign particles and preventing them from entering the middle ear. The ear is self-cleansing and ear wax continually moves out towards the outer ear.
Some people produce extra wax which can harden and block the ear. Excess hair in the ear can also cause wax to block the ear. The symptoms of impacted ear wax are pain, partial hearing loss, ringing in the ear or a sensation that the ear is plugged.
Using cotton tipped applicators to remove ear wax is not only unnecessary but may cause more harm than good as it can also push wax deeper into the ear and make it even more difficult to remove.
Studies using carbamide peroxide products for ear wax removal
Investigators - Andaz & Whittet 1993
An in-vitro study was conducted which compared a carbamide peroxide product with both Cerumol and Waxsol. This study assessed the dispersal of ear wax, rather than softening properties, in a laboratory. The following results were obtained:
Carbamide peroxide drops were clearly superior to both Waxsol and Cerumol in terms of ability to disperse ear wax.
Investigators - Driver 1999 (National Ageing Research Institute, Melbourne)
In an Australian in-vitro study, Dr C. Driver of the National Ageing Research Institute compared the ability of Ear Clear, Cerumol and Waxsol to disperse ear wax and found Ear Clear to be more effective. Ear Clear had dispersed significantly more wax than Waxsol and Cerumol after 45 minutes.
Investigators - Fahmy & Whitefield 1982 Carbamide Peroxide versus Cerumol
A multi-centre clinical trial was conducted which compared carbamide peroxide drops with Cerumol drops. The superiority of carbamide peroxide drops over Cerumol was first demonstrated in a hospital ENT department where each product was administered to 25 patients (50 ears) with the following result:
A comparison was also conducted in a multicentre GP study involving 160 patients. Cerumol was used to treat 129 ears and 157 ears were treated with carbamide peroxide drops with the following results:
The investigators concluded that carbamide peroxide was “markedly superior” to Cerumol when assessed by its ability to disperse wax completely or, where necessary, facilitate syringing. A total of 135 patients had been treated with carbamide peroxide with none reporting any irritation.