Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Health A-Z

Ear wax - What are the symptoms of a build-up of ear wax?

BMJ Group Medical Reference

If you've got a build-up of ear wax (called an ear wax plug) it can stop you hearing properly. This usually isn't a serious problem, but it can be frustrating.

Your hearing may get steadily worse over time. If the plug completely blocks your ear canal, you may feel as if you've lost most of the hearing in that ear. You may find this annoying.[4] Or if you've got ear wax plugs in both ears, you may find it difficult to hold a conversation.[4]

You may also:[5][6]

  • Get a humming, buzzing, or ringing sound in your ears (tinnitus)

  • Get pain in your ear or ears

  • Feel dizzy.

An ear wax plug can also increase your chances of getting an ear infection.[5]

Your doctor will look into your ear to see whether wax is blocking your ear canal.

Glossary

infection

You get an infection when bacteria, a fungus, or a virus get into a part of your body where it shouldn't be. For example, an infection in your nose and airways causes the common cold. An infection in your skin can cause rashes such as athlete's foot. The organisms that cause infections are so tiny that you can't see them without a microscope.

For more terms related to Ear wax

Citations

For references related to Ear wax click here.
Last Updated: June 20, 2012
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.
Next Article:

Stay informed

Sign up for BootsWebMD's free newsletters.
Sign Up Now!

Popular Slideshows & Tools on Boots WebMD

woman looking at pregnancy test
Early pregnancy symptoms
donut on plate
The truth about sugar addiction
woman holding hair
Natural help for dry or damaged hair
woman in bikini
Get ready for swimsuit season
hand extinguishing cigarette
13 best tips to stop smoking
Immune-boosting foods
The role of diet
79x79_not_good_for_you.jpg
18 secrets men want you to know
boy looking at broccoli
Quick tips for feeding picky eaters
hamburger and fries
A guide for beginners
salmon dinner
A diet to boost your mood & energy
polka dot dress on hangar
Lose weight without dieting