Impacted Earwax: When to Be Cause for Concern?
Earwax normally clears itself up if there’s too much inside the ear canals. There are different factors that make someone more prone to earwax buildup than others:
- Hairy and narrow ear canals make it easier for earwax to latch on more
- Ear canals shaped to be harder to naturally self-clean
- Using hearing aids that are placed further inside the ears
- Cleaning ears using cotton swabs which push the earwax farther than it should be
When the ears cannot clean themselves properly, it will cause a buildup in the ear canal and can even block up until the eardrums. This becomes problematic especially if you can’t hear as well as before.
Risks of Impacted Earwax
Aside from the possible hearing loss, impacted earwax can also manifest with the following symptoms which need to be consulted to a doctor:
- Mild hearing loss
- Plugged up ears
- Hearing feels like you are underwater
- Tinnitus or the ringing in your ears
- Discharge and/or odor coming from the ears
These symptoms might be tolerable at first, but if left untreated, can cause ear infection and irritation. It also does not help if it is left too long as it will make removal more difficult.