Can Earwax Cause Tinnitus?
Ear wax collects in our ear canal, which runs all the way into the eardrum. The eardrum contains our three hearing bones and the hearing organ, known as the cochlea.
A small amount of ear wax is healthy and natural. However, over time earwax can build up and create an impaction, which can be a problem. It’s common to have impacted ear wax when you have small ear canals, or if you use q-tips or earbuds regularly. Significant earwax causes temporary hearing loss, which means that sound is not able to go through your ear canal into the cochlea and ultimately up to the auditory brain. Thus, earwax impaction can result in temporary tinnitus.
Check out this video I made about ear wax and tinnitus:
Will My Tinnitus Go Away After Removing Ear Wax?
The good news is that when you remove the ear wax, hearing typically returns back to normal and any temporary tinnitus goes away. This means that if ear wax is creating any ringing in the ears, then removing the ear wax will return your hearing back to normal.
How to Remove Ear Wax
It’s important to be aware about proper ear wax removal. First, do not use q-tips, as they push any ear wax further into the ear canal and are likely not going to aid in removing it. Second, do not try to remove any significant earwax at home by yourself. There’s two ways to remove minor earwax at home by yourself. The first way involves using ear drops, like Debrox, to soften the wax in order to help remove it. The second way involves using a syringe with spray and letting the wax come out naturally. In general, it’s best to avoid candling (for more info, check out this video by Dr. Cliff).
That said, the best way to have your wax removed is by a primary doctor, an ear nose and throat ENT physician, or an audiologist. These professionals have the proper training expertise and tools. They have the ability to do an ear wash or use a vacuum or curette to scoop out any earwax.
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