A new earwax removal product will be on pharmacy shelves this summer. Earwax MD, from Fort Worth, TX-based Eosera, uses Earase technology, a dual-action approach to dissolve cerumen. According to information on the Eosera website, the technology “solubilizes the lipids and wax while simultaneously disrupting the sheets of skin cells [keratinocytes) that are continually shed from the ear canal.”
A recent clinical trial evaluated a total of 30 ears with at least 50% cerumen impaction. Each ear was treated with Earwax MD for 15 minutes followed by low-pressure irrigation with warm water. The researchers concluded that more than half the ears treated were completely cleared of cerumen with 100% visualization of the tympanic membrane after one treatment with Earwax MD. More than 85% of all ears were found to be totally cleared of cerumen with one or two treatments. All but one ear tested showed a substantial reduction in cerumen.1
Before treatment, according to the study results, 90% of ears were symptomatic. After treatment, symptoms were reduced by 82%. Specific symptoms including impaired hearing, a feeling of fullness, itching, and tinnitus were significantly reduced.1
The study also showed that Earwax MD was effective as a prophylactic treatment; it was effective in treating 11 of 12 patients with partial cerumen occlusion.1
Joe Griffin, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder of Eosera, told Drug Topics that the product is superior to those currently on the market. “Earwax MD works after only one dose, while other products may need three or four applications to be effective,” he said.
Griffin asserted that the pharmacist is the ideal health-care professional to counsel patients on earwax removal. The pharmacist, he said, is trained to know when a patient needs further medical attention. For example, if a patient presents with symptom like severe ear pain or drainage from the ear, the pharmacist knows to direct that patient to a physician for further evaluation.
Pharmacists should be especially cognizant of earwax issues in the elderly population. This population is most likely to go to an ear specialist for a hearing aid, making it more important for them to keep their ear canals cleans. “Many problems with hearing aids stem from cerumen build-up,” he said.
Pharmacists can also be effective in counseling patients on the dangers of using cotton swabs such as Q-Tips, Griffin said. Although it may seem like earwax is being cleared out with a cotton swab, the bulk of it is actually being pushed further down into the ear canal. “You’re actually clogging up the ear canal with excess wax,” he said. As the frontline professional, the pharmacist is in the best position to make patients aware of this.
Earwax MD will initially be rolled out to CVS pharmacies this summer with a further rollout later this year.
Burlington D, Song J, Gilles, a et al. Evolution of a novel product for the removal of impacted cerumen. Available at: http://earwaxmd.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/EarwaxMD-clinical-data-.pdf Accessed May 22, 2017.