Q:

What causes excessive ear wax?

A:

Quick Answer

Excessive ear wax can be caused by the use of objects or cotton swabs pushed in the ear canal that creates a blockage, according to Healthline. Individuals who use hearing aids or earphones are also more prone to producing excessive ear wax.

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Full Answer

Impaction or blockage due to excessive ear wax occurs when wax is pushed deep into the ear canal, explains WebMD. People who clean their ears with Q-tips or other objects worsen the condition by pushing ear wax deeper into the ear canal. Common symptoms of an ear wax impaction include ear pain; ringing in the ear; drainage or itching from the ear canal; decreased hearing; and dizziness. Many patients also experience a full or plugged sensation within the ear that is impacted. Patients should contact a medical professional if symptoms persist due to excessive ear wax.

Excessive ear wax can be treated at home unless a hole or perforation exists within the ear drum, states WebMD. Patients can use over-the-counter wax softening drops on the affected ear. Once the drops are inserted into the ear, the excessive wax should begin to drain from the ear within a few minutes. Medical professionals may also recommend flushing the affected ear with warm water using a bulb-type syringe.

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