Ear wax removal interventions : a systematic review and economic evaluation
journal contributionposted on 2011-10-01, 00:00 authored by E Loveman, Elena GospodarevskayaElena Gospodarevskaya, A Clegg, J Bryant, P Harris, A Bird, D Scott, P Davidson, P Little, R Coppin
Excessive ear wax can lead to symptoms such as hearing loss, tinnitus, itching, vertigo, and pain. Treatment to remove ear wax is generally carried out in primary care, and recent estimates suggest that up to 2 million ear irrigations are performed in England and Wales each year.1 This places a considerable demand on GP surgeries. A range of simple and often inexpensive remedies and proprietary drops can be used either to dissipate the wax orsoften it prior to removal. Although removal through irrigation usually occurs in primary care, some people may self-treat. Treatments offered often appear to be based on custom and local practice, rather than an awareness of the comparative effectiveness and costs of the different alternatives. Although evidence on the efficacy of different treatments has been published, no study has examined both clinical and cost-effectiveness. This report summarises a systematic review and economic evaluation of different approaches to ear wax removal taken from a UK perspective.