How Do I Know if I Have Ear Wax Build Up?

In extreme cases, a medical professional will need to address ear wax issues.
Q-tips can sometimes push earwax back into the ear canal.
Article Details
  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 10 September 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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You may be able to tell if you have ear wax build up because your ear might feel clogged, and you could even have problems hearing. It's also likely that you might experience some pain in the ear containing excess ear wax. If you have build up inside either of your ears, you might also be able to see the wax just outside your ear. Even though wax is generally beneficial, it can cause problems when it becomes impacted inside the ears because it can harden and may be difficult to remove.

If your ears feel clogged up, similar to when you are driving or flying at high altitudes, ear wax build up might be your problem. You might even have the sensation of something being lodged inside your ear that you can't quite remove. When the ears feel clogged up due to travel at high altitudes, the sensation can typically be relieved by swallowing or blowing air through the nose. If you attempt these things and your ears still don't unclog, excess ear wax may be the problem. It's important to note that sometimes, a cold or allergies can cause fluid build up inside the ears, which might also create the clogged sensation. If you have any cold or allergy symptoms, you may not actually have an ear wax problem.

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Excess ear wax might also cause problems with your hearing. If sounds seem muffled on either side of your head and you are also experiencing the clogged up sensation inside your ear, there is a possibility you have too much wax. In most cases, your hearing will return to normal as soon as the excess is removed. You might also experience pain in the ear, similar to what you may feel when you have an earache. Pain relievers might help you manage this pain until you can have the wax removed.

You might want to consider looking in a mirror to check if you can see wax coming out of your ears. If you can, and you are also experiencing pain or a clogged sensation, it is likely that you have ear wax build up. You probably need to see a medical professional rather than try to get the wax out yourself. Some liquid wax remover products are available over the counter, but medical professionals do not recommend putting cotton swabs or other items inside the ear canal where the wax is lodged. You can actually push wax further back inside the ears, doing more harm than good, or even damage the ear drum. A healthcare professional can remove the wax without causing any further damage to your ears.

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Discuss this Article

SpecialBug
Post 3

The liquid that is placed in the ear for removing ear wax buildup, should be at body temperature to prevent dizziness.

Ahmerus
Post 2
Ear wax removal with over the counter products is possible, but be prepared to experience some dizziness. Dizziness does not always occur, but pouring a liquid ear wax cleaner in the ear can result in dizziness. It is best to have a friend present during the process.
Jewellian
Post 1
Viewing the inside of your ear with a stationary mirror is nearly impossible. Use a hand mirror, coupled with a stationary mirror to view wax that has formed inside the ear.

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