Cerumen removal: comparison of cerumenolytic agents and effect on cognition among the elderly

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2011 Mar-Apr;52(2):228-32. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2010.03.025. Epub 2010 Apr 24.


Cerumen impaction may affect hearing and decrease hearing acuity, thus decreasing cognitive functions among the elderly. The objective of this study was to compare the safety and the efficacy of three cerumenolytic agents and to assess the effect of cerumen removal on cognition. Thirty eight elderly subjects (mean age: 78 years, total 76 ears) were treated with either Auro®, Cerumol® or the newer CleanEars®, and the change in the degree of ear canal occlusion was examined after a week. In addition, a change in cognition following cerumen removal was evaluated using Raven's standard progressive matrices (RSPM) test. There was no difference regarding the eventual degree of occlusion between the three treatment groups. Only in the CleanEars® group a complete resolution of obstruction in both ears was achieved. A statistically significant difference between the RSPM score before and after the removal of cerumen was found. Using CleanEars® is as effective and safe as other agents and may be advantageous due to its spray application. Removal of cerumen significantly improves the well-being of elderly patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arachis
  • Benzocaine / administration & dosage
  • Carbamide Peroxide
  • Cerumen*
  • Cerumenolytic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Chlorobenzenes / administration & dosage
  • Chlorobutanol / administration & dosage
  • Cognition*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Ear Canal*
  • Female
  • Hearing Disorders / etiology*
  • Hearing Disorders / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Olive Oil
  • Peroxides / administration & dosage
  • Plant Oils / administration & dosage
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Therapeutic Irrigation
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urea / administration & dosage
  • Urea / analogs & derivatives


  • Cerumenolytic Agents
  • Chlorobenzenes
  • Drug Combinations
  • Olive Oil
  • Peroxides
  • Plant Oils
  • arachis oil, chlorobutanol, paradichlorobenzene drug combination
  • Carbamide Peroxide
  • Urea
  • Chlorobutanol
  • Benzocaine