Have Patients Lend a Hand With Cerumen Removal

October 1, 2008

Visualizing ear wax while attempting to remove it can be difficult. To make the process easier, I enlist the patient’s help. When examining the left ear, I have the patient grasp the ear with the right hand, at about the 2-o’clock position.

Visualizing ear wax while attempting to remove it can be difficult. To make the process easier, I enlist the patient’s help. When examining the left ear, I have the patient grasp the ear with the right hand, at about the 2-o’clock position. Conversely, when examining the right ear, I have the patient hold it with the left hand at about the 10-o’clock position. The patient’s grasp on the ear provides gentle outer traction, opening up the canal and leaving me free to hold a light in one hand while I blissfully scoop away with the other.

-- Stephen Dudley, MD
         Seattle

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