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Earwax is a waxy material that is produced by glands inside the ear. Earwax cleans, lubricates and protects the lining of the ear by trapping dirt and repelling water.
Symptoms of earwax build-up
Earwax does not usually cause any problems, but if it builds up, it can result in a blocked ear, pain and hearing loss.
Causes of earwax build-up
If you produce a lot of earwax you're more likely to develop a blockage in your ear than someone who only produces a small amount.
Treating earwax build-up
In most cases, earwax falls out on its own, but if it's completely blocking your ear canal and causing hearing loss it may need to be removed.
Complications of earwax build-up
There are several complications that can occur as a result of impacted earwax or ear irrigation.
Diagnosing earwax
Tests aren't needed to see if you have earwax. If you have a history of recurrent earwax problems, you'll probably know when you have another build-up of earwax.