Ear Wax Impaction

Cerumen (ear wax) is a protective secretion in the ear canal. Sometimes, ear wax builds up and causes symptoms such as hearing loss, blocked ear sensation, tinnitus (ringing noises), sore ears and itchy ears. Hearing aid users may also experience feedback (whistling noises). Ear wax impaction/blockage can be easily treated by microsuction.


Risk Factors for Wax Impaction/Blockage

  • advanced age
  • use of hearing aids
  • use of cotton buds and hairpins in the ear canal (also a major cause of ear infections and ear drum trauma) – “Don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear!”
  • use of ear plugs and earphones
  • narrow, curvy and hairy ear canals
  • tendency to produce a large amount of ear wax
  • dusty environments
  • history of previous ear surgeries