when to see a doctor about earwax

When To See A Doctor About Earwax

Experiencing discomfort or difficulty hearing due to excessive earwax can be frustrating. While many cases can be managed at home, there are times when it’s crucial to seek medical assistance. 

In this article, we will outline the common symptoms of excessive earwax, the potential risks of ignoring buildup, and home remedies for removal. We will also discuss when it’s necessary to consult a medical professional for professional earwax removal procedures. Don’t let earwax issues hold you back – know when it’s time to see a doctor.

Common Symptoms of Excessive Earwax

If you are experiencing symptoms such as earache, decreased hearing, or a feeling of fullness in your ear, it is time to see a doctor about your excessive earwax. These are common signs that your earwax has built up to a point where it may be causing problems. 

Earache can occur when the ear canal becomes blocked by a large amount of earwax, leading to pressure and discomfort. Decreased hearing is another indication that there may be an excessive amount of earwax in the ear canal, as it can block sound waves from reaching the eardrum. 

The feeling of fullness in the ear can be a result of the accumulation of earwax, which can create a sensation of blockage. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention to have your excessive earwax safely removed. If you experience persistent earwax buildup or discomfort, it might be time to consider using an earigator and consult a doctor for proper evaluation and care.

Potential Risks of Ignoring Earwax Buildup

Ignoring earwax buildup can potentially lead to complications. When excessive earwax is left untreated, it can cause a range of problems. One risk is that the ear canal becomes blocked, resulting in hearing loss or a sensation of fullness in the ear. 

This blockage can also lead to tinnitus, a condition characterized by ringing or buzzing noises in the ear. In some cases, untreated earwax buildup can cause ear infections, as the wax creates a favorable environment for bacteria to thrive. 

Additionally, ignoring earwax buildup can affect the effectiveness of hearing aids or earbuds, as they may not fit properly or transmit sound as intended. Therefore, it is important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing excessive earwax to prevent potential risks and complications.

Home Remedies for Earwax Removal

To remove excess earwax at home, you can try using over-the-counter ear drops or gently irrigating your ear with warm water. Ear drops can help soften the wax, making it easier to remove. Make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging and only use them if you don’t have a perforated eardrum or a history of ear infections. 

Another method is to gently flush your ear with warm water using a bulb syringe or a special ear irrigation kit. Tilt your head to the side and slowly squirt the warm water into your ear canal. Then, tilt your head in the opposite direction to let the water drain out. 

Avoid using objects like cotton swabs or hairpins, as they can push the wax further into the ear or cause injury. If these home remedies don’t work or if you experience pain, hearing loss, or persistent symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor for professional earwax removal.

When to Consult a Medical Professional

When you experience pain, hearing loss, or persistent symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention. While home remedies can be effective in many cases, there are certain situations where it’s best to consult a medical professional. 

If you have a history of ear problems such as infections or perforated eardrums, it’s advisable to see a doctor. Additionally, if you are unable to remove the earwax at home or if your symptoms worsen after attempting self-care, it’s time to seek professional help. 

Other red flags include bleeding from the ear, dizziness, or ringing in the ears. It’s also important to see a doctor if you have a foreign object stuck in your ear or if you experience sudden and severe ear pain. Remember, a medical professional can provide the necessary expertise and tools to safely remove earwax and address any underlying issues.

Professional Earwax Removal Procedures

If you’re experiencing difficulty with your ears, professional medical procedures can safely and effectively remove excess earwax. These procedures are usually performed by an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist or a healthcare professional trained in ear care. 

One common method is called ear irrigation, where warm water is gently flushed into the ear canal to soften and remove the wax. Another method is manual removal using specialized tools like curettes or suction devices. These procedures are generally quick and painless, although some discomfort or dizziness may occur temporarily. 

It’s important to seek professional help for earwax removal if you have severe symptoms, such as complete hearing loss, intense pain, or persistent ear infections. Avoid attempting to remove the wax yourself using cotton swabs or other objects, as this can push the wax deeper or cause damage to the ear canal.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for earwax buildup to cause hearing loss?

It can take varying amounts of time for earwax buildup to cause hearing loss. Factors such as the amount of wax, location, and individual differences can determine the speed of hearing impairment.

Can excessive earwax lead to ear infections?

Excessive earwax can increase the risk of ear infections. It can block the ear canal, trapping moisture and creating a favorable environment for bacteria and fungi to grow.


It is important to address excessive earwax buildup to prevent potential risks and discomfort. While home remedies can be effective, it is crucial to know when to seek medical assistance. If symptoms persist or worsen after trying self-care methods, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional. 

They can provide proper diagnosis and perform professional earwax removal procedures if necessary. Taking prompt action will help maintain optimal ear health and prevent any further complications.

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