How to Know if You Have Earwax Buildup

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Know if You Have Earwax Buildup

Do you feel mild discomfort in your ear? There are some signs that can reveal if you have a buildup of earwax . It is advisable to clean your ears so you can look after your well-being and your hearing. Wax is a natural bodily mechanism that is created to keep your ear canals protected and to prevent any infection that may penetrate this area. However, when it is created in abundance, you can experience some discomfort which is easy to treat. In this OneHowTo article, we will explain how to know if you have earwax buildup by telling you some of this condition's most obvious symptoms so you can help them to clean naturally.

You may also be interested in: How to Get Rid of Earwax Buildup at Home

Steps to follow:


In order to know if you have earwax buildup, it is essential that you familiarize yourself with the symptoms that may occur in relation to this condition. The most common symptoms include:

  • Hearing loss: Wax buildup can produce a sensation of a "plug" in the ear and consequently, a loss in hearing. This usually occurs suddenly and not gradually, i.e. from one day to the next, you get up feeling like you are "deaf" and are unable to hear clearly.
  • Hearing your own voice: It is also common for people with a plug of earwax to hear their own voice echoing when they speak.
  • Pain in the ear area: It is also possible that an accumulation of wax can produce some pain in the area which is usually mild but can become worse if not treated immediately. So if you feel any discomfort, see your doctor so they can remove the wax and restore your health.
  • Buzzing: Due to the sensation of plugged ears, it is also common to hear mild ringing in the ear.
  • Dizziness or light-headedness: In the most extreme cases, the wax may also produce some faintness or even dizziness which prevents the patient from going about their normal lives.

All these symptoms disappear the moment that a doctor removes the excess wax or when removed via some home remedies.

How to Know if You Have Earwax Buildup - Step 1

Whilst you have ear wax, you should not be alarmed. It is normal for you to sometimes see a yellowish stain caused by earwax when you clean them. You just have to go to the doctor or deeply clean the ear in cases where you experience serious hearing discomfort. Remember that the wax fulfills a basic function in your body to act as a protective barrier to keep out bacteria and infections.

The glands in your ear canal create wax. This mixture of wax, grease and other organic compounds are essential for safeguarding your ear's health. The main function of this substance is to protect you from external agents and infections that could harm your inner ear.

Wax is therefore totally necessary to ensure you are properly protected. So, only in cases where you realize that a lot of earwax is forming or is altering your hearing should you go to the doctor or attempt to clean your ear to remove the excess.

How to Know if You Have Earwax Buildup - Step 2

It is best practice to seek the help of a doctor if you have earwax so they can remove it without hurting the inside of your ear. During the consultation, they will introduce warm water to soften the plug so that it drains out and disappears from your body. However, you should know that you can also perform this procedure at home with products such as hydrogen peroxide or chamomile. We explain how with the following tips:

  • Hydrogen peroxide for wax

This product will help you to disinfect the area as well as softening the plug and allowing it to leave the body. To carry out this treatment, introduce a few drops of hydrogen peroxide into the ear (with the help of a dropper or syringe) and tilt the head to allow it to penetrate properly. Leave it to act for 3 minutes and then tilt your head to the other side so that the earwax falls out by itself.

To clean the wax that comes out you must not use cotton buds because these will push it back in again. It is best to use some paper to clean the outside but do not put anything inside the ear as this could cause an infection.

  • Chamomile for earwax

Chamomile tea contains antiseptic properties that will help to deeply clean the area. Also, the warm temperature of this solution will help to soften the accumulated earwax more easily and thus eliminate it much faster. To perform this remedy, you just have to prepare the infusion and, when ready, leave it to cool slightly (it must be lukewarm).

Then, heat up a few drops of olive oil. When warm, apply them to the inside of your ear with a dropper or a syringe. Add a few drops of chamomile into your ear and leave it to act for 5 minutes by cocking your head to one side so it penetrates better.

If you want more ideas, we recommend you read our article on how to remove ear wax naturally.

How to Know if You Have Earwax Buildup - Step 3

In order to prevent infections or complications, it is important to know that you should be very careful and rigorous when cleaning earwax. For this reason, if you do not feel ready to do it yourself, it is best to turn to a specialist who will remove it quickly. For example, cotton buds that are usually used to clean the ears are not recommended in this case, as they push the earwax further in and can cause infections. In fact, this type of product should only be used in the outer ear to clean wax residue that may be visible from the outside.

You must add drops by using a dropper or syringe with both treatments indicated. The forceful application of any liquid in the ear is strongly discouraged. This should only be done by a professional as pressure can cause a perforation or infection.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Know if You Have Earwax Buildup, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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What did you think of this article?
Sara Nichols
Last year I went to ENT for loud noise, tv, telephone, talking, in left ear. First, they gave me a hearing test. Doctor suggested MRI for probable tumor. Nothing said about ear wax. I refused MRI due to loud thumping of the MRI. A couple of weeks later, my ear was okay again. I prayed about it. Now, a year later, it's happening again. I have ENT app't, but not for another month.
Charlotte McDougale
Like learning new things
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How to Know if You Have Earwax Buildup