Earwax (cerumen) is a natural product of the ear canal that serves many important functions, primarily to protect the ear from external dirt and contaminants. Normally, wax finds its own way out of your ear canal and into the ear opening and is washed away easily. Yet when your glands produce more wax than required, they may naturally become hard and block your ear. As it builds up in the ear canal, the wax prevents the transmission of sound through the ear. In more severe cases, earwax buildup that isn’t removed can cause earaches or even lead to infection.

Checking for ear wax

Can Ear Wax Cause Hearing Loss?

Wax build-up in the ear that hardens and blocks the canal is a common cause for conductive hearing loss. The hardened excess wax literally acts as a physical barrier, blocking sound traveling to your inner ear. The best way to avoid hearing loss due to earwax is to have the wax removed. While techniques such as ear candling may seem to be popular today, research shows that it is an ineffective treatment and can, in fact, push earwax deeper into the canal and make it more difficult to remove. The best way to clear your ears of wax is at a hearing clinic that is trained in cerumen management.

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