Not all ear wax is created equal! This 11-year-old girl came to me with chronic earwax problems. In her ear was a peanut-sized bony tumor. The mass was gently pried out with a small chisel, relieving her obstruction.
Exostoses of the external ear canal are also known as “surfers nodules.” They generally occur in adults, more commonly among people who regularly swim in cold water. They are entirely benign, but when they become large, they can block the hearing and make it difficult to clean the ear canal. Swimmer’s ear may be more common when damp wax gets trapped.