Earwax is a sticky substance created by the outer ear canal to protect against external forces, such as dirt and debris, that may cause injury to the inner ear. Normal production of earwax typically does not cause issues within the ear. If the ear produces too much earwax or an individual does not clean the waxy secretions from the outer ear, earwax buildup can occur. While not typically dangerous, earwax buildup can be somewhat uncomfortable. Though tempting, it is not advised for individuals with earwax buildup to stick any foreign objects into their ear, as this can compact the buildup and worsen symptoms. Knowing the symptoms of earwax buildup can be helpful in determining whether medical intervention is required.
Feeling Of Fullness In The Ear
One of the first signs an individual may have an earwax buildup is a feeling of fullness in the ear. This feeling of fullness is due to the earwax being compacted against the ear canal. The fullness may increase if pressure is placed on the outer ear. Though the feeling may be uncomfortable, patients should avoid using home remedies, such as cotton swabs or ear candles to remove the blockage. Doing so may further compact the existing wax, increasing the risk of damage to the eardrum and infection. Typically the earwax will loosen and extricate itself from the ear without external assistance. However, individuals can help speed the process by placing a warm compress on the affected ear. The warmth may loosen the wax in the outer ear and help the blockage work free from the ear.