Earwax Build-Up: Causes, Symptoms, and How to Treat it

Earwax is a normal and healthy substance that helps protect your ears from dirt and germs. But when it builds up, it can cause symptoms such as hearing loss, earache, ringing in the ears, and vertigo. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can treat earwax build-up yourself and when to seek help from a pharmacist or healthcare professional. How to Treat Earwax Build-Up Yourself: It’s important to note that you should not use your fingers or any objects like cotton buds to remove earwax. This will only push it in and make the problem worse. Instead, you can try using medical grade olive oil to soften the wax. Here’s how: Lie on your side and use a dropper to put 2 to 3 drops of oil in your ear. Stay in this position for a few minutes to let the oil work its way through your ear canal. Repeat this process 3 to 4 times a day for 3 to 5 days. You may find it easier to do this first thing in the morning and just before bed. Over the course of about 2 weeks, lumps of earwax should fall out of your ear, especially at night when you’re lying down. It’s important to note that there’s no evidence that ear candles get rid of earwax. These methods are not recommended. When to Seek Help: If your symptoms haven’t cleared after 5 days or your ear is badly blocked and you cannot hear anything, it’s time to seek help from a Audiologist:
  • If you have a hole in your eardrum (a perforated eardrum), do not use drops.
  • Not all GP practices remove earwax, but some can. They may flush the wax out with water (ear irrigation). These treatments are usually painless, but you might have to pay to have them done privately.
Causes of Earwax Build-Up build-up of earwax can happen if you have narrow or damaged ear canals, lots of hair in your ear canals, a skin condition affecting your scalp or around your ear, or inflammation of your ear canal (otitis externa or “swimmer’s ear”). Preventing Earwax Build-Up While you can’t prevent earwax, you can use olive oil eardrops for a few days to soften the wax. This will help it fall out on its own and should prevent blocked ears. If not it is important to see a professional. In conclusion, earwax build-up can cause discomfort and affect your hearing. It’s important to treat it properly and seek help if necessary. Remember not to use any objects in your ears, and consult an Audiologist if your symptoms persist.

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