Expert on the six signs of too much wax in your ears

Gross Earwax Removal .mov

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Rob Ormerod, the Head of Audiology at Bayfields Opticians and Audiologists, revealed six signs that you have too much earwax. Cold weather could trigger a build-up of earwax, so a lot of people right now could be “feeling a fullness in the ear”. Another culprit behind excessive earwax is “wearing in-ear equipment”.

Ormerod elaborated: “People who wear hearing aids, earplugs or in-ear headphones are likely to produce more earwax.”

He added: “With age, our earwax tends to become harder, and more uncomfortable, which can cause complications.”

If you are experiencing tinnitus, which is “hearing a ringing, whooshing, humming or buzzing sound”, you could have too much earwax.


The NHS explains: “Tinnitus is the term for hearing sounds that come from inside your body, rather than from an outside source.

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“You should see your GP if you continually or regularly hear sounds such as buzzing, ringing or humming in your ears.

“They can examine your ears to see if the problem might be caused by a condition they could easily treat, such as an ear infection or earwax build-up.”

Ormerod added that another potential sign of too much earwax build-up is “blocked ears”.

While a build-up of earwax can reduce a person’s ability to hear, it can also lead to ear discomfort, such as an earache.

Too much earwax could also lead to “irritation in the ear canal”; people who have narrow ear canals are more prone to such complications.

Some people just naturally produce more ear wax than others, which is perfectly normal.

“If you are suffering from increased earwax, it can be tempting to try to remove it at home with a cotton bud,” said Ormerod.

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“But this could potentially cause damage to the ear,” he cautioned.

People could inadvertently cause ear problems by “pushing the wax the down the ear canal with a cotton bud”.

Ormerod said: “Remember that some earwax is good, but if you’re unsure, the best thing to do is to get checked by your local audiologist or your GP.

“There are a number of techniques your healthcare professional will use, including micro-suction for the safest wax removal.”

Six signs of too much earwax build-up:

  • A feeling of fullness in the ear
  • Tinnitus
  • Blocked ears
  • Hearing loss
  • Earache
  • Irritation in the ear canal.

The NHS adds earwax build-up could lead to vertigo, where you feel dizzy and sick.

At-home treatment for too much earwax includes “put two to three drops of medical-grade olive or almond oil in your ear three to four times a day”, the NHS says. “Do this for three to five days.”

Rob Ormerod is the Head of Audiology at Bayfields Opticians and Audiologists.

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