What is Earwax Impaction?

The ear canal creates a waxy oil called cerumen, which is commonly called ear wax. This wax works to protect the ear from dust and foreign particles, as well as protect the ear canal from water irritation. This excess wax usually finds its way out of the ear canal and into the ear opening, but in some cases, earwax may harden and block the ear.

Earwax impaction can occur due to a number of reasons. Sometimes, the ears simply produce too much earwax. Using cotton ear swabs to clean the ears can push the wax deeper, causing a blockage. Frequent use of earphones can also cause blockages.

Common signs of earwax impaction include:

  • Tinnitus, or ringing in the ear
  • Sudden or partial hearing loss, which is temporary
  • A feeling of fullness in the ear
  • Earache

Unremoved earwax impaction can lead to an infection. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor:

  • Severe ear pain
  • Drainage from the ear
  • Fever
  • Persistent hearing loss
  • Dizziness

Treatment for Earwax Impaction

If you are experiencing earwax impaction, do not attempt to dig out the excess earwax yourself, as this could lead to damage to the inner ear. There are a number of treatment options that can be used to treat impacted earwax. Over-the-counter drops meant to soften earwax can be used to safely remove built-up earwax. Irrigation of the ear can also be done by a health professional or by using an over-the-counter kit.

If you are experiencing earwax impaction, you can seek treatment from Springfield Urgent Care today. Our professionals will help to treat your symptoms quickly.

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