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Case studies

• Ear wax plugs represent a frequent health problem, accounting for many medical and nursing consultations.
• In Primary Care they are one of the main problems of otic consultation with a prevalence of 2-6% according to the literature consulted, and that can reach up to 10% in children, 30% in intellectual disabilities and 65% in elderly people, hence the special importance they acquire in home care and residential social care.
• In Catalonia, according to data from the Information System for the Development of Research in Primary Care (SIDIAP), in a sample of 1,708,904 patients, a prevalence of 2.3% was evidenced for the diagnosis of ear wax plugs.
• If we extrapolate this result to the total Catalan population, it could be said that approximately 172,785 patients in Catalonia would be.
• If Spanish population is taken as a reference, it could be said that there were around 1,123,120 patients diagnosed and allegedly treated in Spain.
• However, it should be recalled that these figures only relate to patients treated in Primary Care, so it is assumed that total number of plugs removals performed was even higher.
• In other countries such as the United Kingdom, 2.3 million patients have had an episode ever, and it is estimated that 4 million annual therapeutic irrigations are performed.
• In the US, 12 million patients visit the doctor annually to have their earwax removed, reaching the order of 8 million extractions per year.
• In addition, there is an economic data for the year 2011, according to which Americans spent 63 million dollars on ear cleaning products (including irrigation equipment for use by the patient at home).

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