Can Ear Wax Build Up Cause Tinnitus: Will My Tinnitus Go away?

Tinnitus, the perception of sound in the ears or head without an external source, can be a bothersome condition that affects many individuals. While there are various causes of tinnitus, one potential factor that often raises questions is the role of earwax buildup. 

man with cleaning ear wax to avoid tinnitus

This blog post will explore the connection between wax accumulation in the ear canal and tinnitus symptoms. We will delve into how wax buildup can affect hearing and discuss the importance of seeking professional medical advice for proper evaluation and treatment.

Can earwax buildup cause tinnitus? Join us as we uncover the relationship between earwax and tinnitus and better understand this commonly asked question.

Can Ear Wax Cause Tinnitus?

Yes, Excessive ear wax buildup can cause tinnitus. When too much wax accumulates in the ear canal, it can partially or entirely block the passage of sound waves through to the eardrum.

This results in a muffling of sounds and can eventually lead to tinnitus. While this is not a common cause of tinnitus, it is essential to be aware that it can indirectly result from excessive wax buildup. Here is an article on How Long Does It Takes For Tinnitus To Go Away After Ear Wax Removal?

What Increases The Risk Of Excessive Wax Production?

Several factors increase the risk of excessive wax production. These include an overactive sebaceous gland, a narrow ear canal due to genetics, and using cotton swabs for cleaning. If you believe you may be at risk for excessive wax production, speaking to your audiologist about ways to reduce your risk is crucial.

Causes of earwax buildup

There are a variety of causes for earwax buildup. Commonly, an overgrowth of wax results from using cotton swabs to clean the ears. Cotton can cause the wax to become impacted in the ear canal, creating a blockage that affects hearing.

Other factors, such as having a narrow ear canal due to genetics as well as an overactive sebaceous gland, can also contribute to excessive wax production and buildup. Read Here: The Danger of Using Q Tips To Clean The Ear

Another contributing factor for ear wax buildup is aging: As we age, the consistency of earwax may change, becoming drier and harder. This can make it more difficult for the wax to walk out of the ear, resulting in buildup naturally.

How to prevent ear wax buildup?

In order to prevent ear wax buildup, it is essential to take steps such as avoiding the use of cotton swabs or other objects that could push wax further into the ear canal. Instead, gently clean the outer part of your ears with a washcloth or tissue when necessary.

Additionally, visiting your doctor regularly for hearing tests and checkups can help identify any issues before they become serious problems.

How do I know if I have ear wax causing tinnitus?

If you are experiencing tinnitus and suspect that wax buildup may be the cause, the first step is to visit your doctor or an audiologist for a hearing test. Hospital visitation will help determine whether wax has accumulated in the ear and whether it is causing any partial hearing loss. Depending on the results of this test, further steps can be taken to reduce the risk of tinnitus related to excessive ear wax.

While ear wax buildup can sometimes lead to tinnitus, it is not a common cause. However, if you are concerned about your risk factors or are experiencing symptoms such as muffled hearing or ringing in your ears, it is crucial to speak with your doctor. Also read here: Can I wear Hearing Aids If I Have Tinnitus?

Signs and symptoms of earwax buildup

The most common signs and symptoms of earwax buildup include

  • Muffled hearing or a feeling of fullness in the ears.
  • A ringing, buzzing, or whistling sound in one or both ears.
  • Dizziness or vertigo.
  • Itching inside the ear.
  • Pain in the ear caused by pressure from the buildup.

Will my tinnitus go away after removing ear wax?

In some cases, tinnitus can be relieved after removing ear wax. When the underlying cause of your tinnitus is affected earwax, removing the blockage can help improve hearing and reduce symptoms.

However, in most cases, it is difficult to determine what is causing the tinnitus without an evaluation from a medical professional. Therefore, if you are experiencing tinnitus, you should visit your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Understanding the relationship between ear wax buildup and tinnitus can help prevent or reduce symptoms associated with this condition. If you believe your tinnitus may be caused by excessive ear wax buildup, you must speak to your audiologist immediately. Read Here: Can Gum Disease Cause Tinnitus?

Taking preventative steps such as avoiding using cotton swabs and visiting your doctor can help ensure that wax buildup does not cause tinnitus in the future.

Can I use ear drops to get rid of my earwax?

Occasionally, ear drops may be recommended to remove excessive ear wax. However, it is essential to consult with your doctor before using any over-the-counter remedy. Depending on the severity of the buildup, manual removal by a healthcare provider may be required. Additionally, improper use of ear drops can cause irritation and further blockage that could lead to hearing loss or even infection.

When using ear drops for wax removal, following all instructions carefully to avoid potential complications is essential. Generally, you will need to apply a few drops into each affected ear twice daily for up to one week or as directed by your doctor.

The fluid should remain in the ears for at least five minutes before being gently wiped away with a clean cloth. This process helps to dissolve and remove the wax buildup, allowing for improved hearing.

Can a doctor see impacted ear wax?

Yes, a doctor can see impacted ear wax. If you visit your doctor or an audiologist, they can use specialized equipment to look inside the ear and identify any blockages or excess wax buildup. Impacted is often done with an otoscope, which is a device similar to a flashlight with a magnifying lens attached.

The doctor will also be able to examine the eardrum to determine any structural abnormalities. The doctor may also order imaging tests such as CT or MRI scans to get a better view of the inner ear and detect potential issues. Once any blockage has been identified, it can be removed manually by your doctor or by flushing it out with water or other solutions.

How to get rid of excess earwax

Manual removal is the most common and safest way to remove excess earwax. Getting rid of ear wax can be done using an ear syringe, a bulb-shaped device that uses suction to pull out the buildup gently.

Your doctor or audiologist may also use tweezers or other specialized tools to remove the wax from the ears manually. If you are uncomfortable with this method, various over-the-counter products are designed to remove earwax.

These include oil-based drops, foam cleansers, and sprays that soften and loosen the wax buildup to remove it quickly. It is essential to follow all directions on the packaging when using these types of products.

More powerful treatments are available for individuals with a lot of excess wax buildups, such as ear irrigation and earwax removal kits. These methods use water or other solutions to flush out the ears and should only be done by trained professionals.

Finally, it is essential to note that attempting to remove your earwax can cause damage to the eardrum or lead to infection if done incorrectly. Therefore, it is always best to consult your doctor before attempting any treatment for excessive wax buildup.


It is important to remember that earwax buildup can cause tinnitus and should not be ignored. If you are experiencing symptoms, such as ringing or itching inside the ear, you must speak with your doctor or an audiologist for a proper diagnosis. Various methods are available for removing excess wax from the ears, but it is always best practice to consult your healthcare provider before attempting any treatment. Proper care and maintenance can reduce the risk of wax buildup causing further damage and improve tinnitus symptoms.


  • Kathie Miller

    Kathie Miller has extensive experience editing consumer health information. Her training in particular has focused on how to best share evidence-based medical guidelines and clinical trial results to the public eye. She strives to make health content accurate, accessible, and engaging to our readers.

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