Older children or adolescents who try to remove earwax themselves with hair pins or similar objects run the risk of perforating the eardrum or damaging the fragile skin covering the ear canal, causing bleeding and the risk of infection.
In addition, treatment of ear and throat infections with antibiotics and of recurring ear infections with surgical drainage through the eardrum (tympanostomy) has greatly reduced the incidence of surgical removal of these lymph glands.
Cerumen is most likely to become impacted when it is pushed against the eardrum by cotton-tipped applicators, hair pins, or other objects that people put in their ears, and when it is trapped against the eardrum by a hearing aid.
Perforated eardrum occurs commonly in people of all ages; it is especially common in early childhood when children are exposed regularly to colds and upper respiratory infections in their contact with other children.
It includes the eardrum, the three little bones (hammer, anvil, and stirrup) that transmit sound to the inner ear, and the eustachian tube, which connects the inner ear to the nasopharynx (the back of the nose).