Ear canal collapse prevalence and associated factors among users of a center of prevention and rehabilitation for disabilities

<div><p>ABSTRACT Purpose: to investigate the prevalence of the ear canal collapse when using supra-aural earphones and to verify if this event is influenced by sex, age, color of the skin and prominent ear. Methods: the collapse was assessed by a visual inspection after the positioning of a detached cushion, pressured against the external ear. Results: a total of 436 individuals, aged 3 to 97 years, participated in the study. Ear canal collapse was observed in 11.4% of the subjects, being mostly bilateral (90.0%). The prevalence ranged from 6.3% to 36.6% across age groups. Males, aged 65 years or above and presence of prominent ear were independently identified as associated factors for the occurrence of ear canal collapse (p<0.05). Despite a higher prevalence for those self-identified as white skinned when compared to non-whites, the difference was not statistically significant. Conclusion: the ear canal collapse, when supra-aural earphones are used, is more likely to occur in men, in elderly people, and among those with prominent ears. The prevalence of the event in this population raises the necessity of a careful examination, previous to any evaluation using supra-aural earphones.</p></div>