SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Signs and symptoms of earwax blockage may include:
- Feeling of fullness in the affected ear
- Ear noise (tinnitus)
- Decreased hearing in the affected ear
When to see a doctor
If you're experiencing the signs and symptoms of earwax blockage, talk to your doctor.
Signs and symptoms could indicate another condition. You may think you can deal with earwax on your own, but there's no way to know if you have excessive earwax without having someone, usually your doctor, look into your ears. Having signs and symptoms, such as earache or decreased hearing, doesn't necessarily mean you have wax buildup. Even if you've had a past problem with earwax, you can't be sure that wax buildup is the cause of your current symptoms. It's possible you have another medical condition involving your ears that may need attention.
Wax removal is most safely done by doctor. Asking your doctor to remove earwax may seem unnecessary, but your ear canal and eardrum are delicate and can be damaged easily by excess earwax. Don't try to remove earwax yourself with any device placed into your ear canal, especially if you've had ear surgery, have a hole (perforation) in your eardrum, or are having ear pain or drainage.
Children usually have their ears checked as part of any medical examination. If necessary, a doctor can remove excess earwax from your child's ear during an office visit.
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- Dinces EA. Cerumen. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed April 21, 2011.
- Clinical practice guideline: Cerumen impaction. Alexandria, Va.: Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. American Academy of Otalaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/Practice/upload/FINAL-CerumenImpaction-Journal-2008.pdf. Accessed April 26, 2011.