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.
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.