Impacted earwax

Impacted earwax is the build-up and hardening of the earwax in the wax. If not removed, impacted earwax may cause infection.

Symptoms of impacted earwax

Once earwax has been removed, all these symptoms will go away. 

What Causes impacted earwax?

Our ears have an efficient ear cleaning mechanism. Ironically, impacted earwax happens when people try to clean their ears. For instance, using your finger, cotton buds, or other objects for earwax removal, push the wax further into the ear. It will lead to earwax build-up and impacted wax. 

Excessive earwax may also lead to impacted earwax. It can occur if the earwax produced is more than required for ear health. Another cause of impacted earwax is the stickier and drier earwax than usual. 

Here’re some other causes of impacted earwax:

  • Hairy ear canals
  • Narrow ear canals
  • Wearing hearing aids, earbud headphones, and earplugs for a long time
  • Aging that leads to drier earwax
  • Expansion of earwax due to moisture 

How to know if you have excess earwax?

The most apparent sign of excess earwax is hearing loss. Some other signs of excess earwax, significantly if you have had impacted earwax, are:


If the hard wax presses the vagus nerve (a nerve along the ear), it will make you cough. Basically, the pressure causes nerve excitation and makes you cough even if you have a clear throat. 


The movement of the earwax deep inside the ear puts pressure on the ear canal. This pressure may lead to pain. 

The earache may also occur due to pressure on the eardrum.  

The feeling of fullness in the ear:

You may feel fullness in your ear if the hard wax presses hard around the ear canal. 

No doubt, you should not interfere with the natural self-cleaning process of the ear. But you should contact your GP or Squeaky Ears if you have any earwax problems.

Does impacted earwax affect your hearing?

Impacted earwax makes you hear muffled sounds. The blockage due to earwax also causes hearing loss, known as conductive hearing loss. It typically goes away once the blockage is removed. 

In rare cases, permanent hearing loss may also occur if you don’t treat the impacted earwax for a long time. Therefore, you should visit a professional for an ear checkup if you feel something wrong. 

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Reasons for too much earwax

The sebaceous glands secretes earwax in your ear canal regularly. When you move your jaws and neck, it massages this secretion along the ear canal. In the ear canal, these secretions will pick up the dead skin and dirt and form earwax.

Changes in the consistency of these secretions will lead to the formation of harder earwax. This issue will become common as you get older. An increase in the ear debris will also have a similar effect.  

Hardwax moves at a slow speed in the ear canal. As a result, the chances of earwax build-up will increase. 

Other reasons for too much earwax are:

  • Dirty living or working conditions could increase the amount of debris. Mixing excess debris with earwax will block the ear canal. 
  • Diseases such as eczema increases the number of dead skin cells in the ear. As a result, there would be more earwax. 

Are you at a higher risk of excess earwax?

Earwax issues may be higher in some people. It may be due to a medical condition, like trauma or any condition related to the ears.

You’re at higher risk of excess earwax if you’re suffering from 

  • Osteomas, bony growths, restrict the earwax passage by narrowing the ear canal. As a result, there will be higher chances of wax hardening and ear canal blockage. 
  • Skin diseases such as eczema increases the dead skin cells in the ear canal, increasing the earwax.
  • Lupus, a skin disease, also increases ear secretion and dead skin cells. Ultimately, it also increases the chances of excess earwax. 
  • Regular use of hearing aids and earphones also push the wax against a natural pathway. So, it’s the most common cause of earwax build-up. 

You can book an appointment online if you’d like to talk about anything to do with your ear health or hearing.

Diagnosing impacted earwax

An Ear Care Specialist use an instrument named as an otoscope to identify impacted earwax. The otoscope magnifies and lights up the ear canal to help the professionals to look into your ear. Thus, they can easily identify the earwax blockage and impacted earwax with the help of an otoscope. 

At Squeaky Ears, our professionals use a digital HD video otoscope to help you see wax in your ears. 

Once they diagnose the impacted earwax, they will suggest some pre-earwax removal steps. 

Will impacted earwax go away on its own?

Unfortunately, impacted earwax will not fix itself. It happens because the wax becomes stiff and stuck in the ear canal. It will not move with the normal movement of your jaws and facial muscles. 

The good news is that it’s no more a difficult task to get your impacted earwax removed. You just need to book an appointment with our Ear Care Specialist at Squeaky Ears.

Unfortunately, impacted earwax will not fix itself. It happens because the wax becomes stiff and stuck in the ear canal. It will not move with the normal movement of your jaws and facial muscles. 

The good news is that it’s no more a difficult task to get your impacted earwax removed. You just need to book an appointment with our Ear Care Specialist at Squeaky Ears.

Get professional earwax removal services

Impacted earwax increases the risk of infection development due to irritation in the ear canal. It may induce uncomfortable feelings, requiring proper treatment. Therefore, you must ensure the safe removal of impacted earwax. 

How do we remove impacted earwax from your ears?

The earwax removal method our professionals choose depends on the extent of earwax build-up in your ears. 

 Here’re some methods that our professionals commonly use: 

  • Manual removal
  • Use of a specialist tool
  • Microsuction (it gets the earwax out of the ears without having any contact with the eardrum or ear canal’s sensitive skin)

When should you visit your doctor?

You should visit your doctor if you experience any one of the following symptoms:


Since impacted or excess earwax symptoms may vary, we’ve compiled some frequently asked questions. 

No, the removal of impacted earwax is not painful. You wouldn’t need pain medication or anesthesia while undergoing the process. 

We know you may feel uncomfortable when our professional pokes around in your ear. But we will advise you not to move until the completion of the procedure. Otherwise, you will be at risk of ear canal damage.    

Our clinicians will inform you about every step of the procedure in advance.

Never attempt to eliminate excessive earwax with available items, such as pencils, hairpins, matchsticks, and cotton buds. It may have the following consequences:

  • Damaged ear canal
  • Movement of earwax deeper into the ear canal 
  • Ear infection
  • Eardrum perforation

However, you can use other methods to remove earwax at home safely.

Earwax do’s and don’t

You can also buy an over-the-counter solution for this problem. You just have to ask your nearby pharmacist or chemist to recommend you the best product. 

Some people also prefer using earwax candling. But The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has not found any role of earwax candling in earwax management. According to them, earwax candling is an invasive treatment and should never be used. 

Curious to know more about ear candling? Click here now to know more about ear candling. 

Yes, a headache may happen due to earwax build-up. But it is not the only cause of headaches. Headaches may occur due to many other reasons. The simple way to identify if earwax build-up is the cause is to remove the excess earwax.  

Impacted earwax is not the cause of dizziness. However, if you clean your ear yourself, it may cause dizziness. Therefore, we advise you to see a professional for safe earwax removal.

Earwax traps the bacteria, debris, and dead skin cells inside the ear canal. So, if you don’t get rid of it, it may lead to an outer ear infection. The outer ear infection is also known as otitis externa. 

Earwax build-up is linked to hearing loss, which may lead to memory loss. According to some studies, memory loss may happen because hearing loss drains more energy in your brain, making it energy deficient. 

However, the answer isn’t clear yet. Scientists are researching more to find the precise answer. 

Concerned about memory loss due to impacted earwax?

Contact a clinician at Squeaky Ears!

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