Why do I get blocked ears?

Ear wax, also known as cerumen, is a natural mix of oil, fats, sweat and dead skin found in the ear canal. Ear wax is a natural antibacterial lubricant made in the outer ear canal and helps to protect your eardrum and ear canal ear against dust, dirt and bacteria. The secretions lubricate the ear canal and prevent the skin from becoming too dry. Usually, ear wax naturally makes its way out of the ear canal. But some people are prone to excess wax build-up. It’s one of the most common ear-related conditions.

What can cause earwax build-up?

  • Overproduction of ear wax

  • Narrow ear canals

  • Hairy ear canals

  • Dry earwax, (not much moisture in the secretion as you get older)

  • Bony growths in the ear canal can block the progress of ear wax

  • An awkward ear canal bend

  • Using cotton buds in your ear

  • Wearing hearing aids  and/or in-ear headphones (pushes the wax back in)

Symptoms of an ear wax build up:

  • Earache, as it builds up it can press against the ear canal causing pain

  • Hearing loss, especially after swimming or a shower

  • Itchiness in the ear (can be caused by other things though like dry skin)

  • Dizziness, ear wax blockage can cause some dizziness sometimes

  • Tinnitus, it can give you a sense of buzzing or ringing in the affected ear