Is earwax responsible for Tinnitus? All you need to know

Jan 11, 2023 by Adhip

It is possible for a buildup of earwax to result in tinnitus. However, one must be careful when using earwax removal techniques as they can potentially cause or worsen tinnitus. It is important to obtain medical advice before attempting any methods of earwax removal.

Causes of Tinnitus

Tinnitus has many unknown causes, making it difficult to ascertain where it’s coming from. For some people, the underlying source of their condition could stem from noise-induced hearing loss. Many people often overlook the fact that a recent medical condition or medication can be the cause of their tinnitus. If you’ve only recently started to experience ringing in your ears, the source of your problem may lie within your ear canal.

Tinnitus from earwax

Earwax, or cerumen, is produced by glands in the ear. Its purpose is to protect your inner ear from debris and it usually makes its way out of your ear by itself. To maintain the cleanliness of the ear, wiping the outer part with a wet rag should be enough. Avoid inserting objects like cotton swabs and bobby pins into the ear as they can be dangerous and cause severe harm.

Although earwax is generally harmless, it can lead to impaction for some people by causing tinnitus. This happens when excess wax accumulates and blocks the ear canal, and can be by various factors. Cotton swabs and earbuds can inadvertently make the situation worse for people with dry cerumen. This is because the pushing of these items into the ear canal could push earwax blockage. Therefore, one should be mindful when using them to clean out the ears to avoid any buildup.

Those who experience ringing in the ears should consider if there’s an underlying issue such as impaction. The loud ringing sound may be only present in one ear and can lead to many issues like lack of concentration and irritation. If you are experiencing tinnitus, see a medical professional to check for any blockage or other issues.

Reason for an overload of Earwax build Causing Tinnitus

  • It’s likely that your ear canals are more constricted or have been damaged in some way. This can be a problem when listening to sounds as it may make them seem muffled or unclear.
  • There is an excessive amount of hair growth in your ear canals which causes a build-up of earwax.
  • You suffer from a medical condition that affects the skin on your scalp or near your ears.
  • You may be suffering from an ear infection, such as Otitis Externa, known commonly as “swimmers ear”. This can cause your ear canal to become inflamed and irritated.
  • Older people are more prone to experiencing dry ears, especially due to the natural aging process.

Symptoms of impaction

Signs and symptoms of an earwax impaction can vary but may include tinnitus, hearing loss, earaches, congestion of the ear, and dizziness. Other lesser-known indicators such as an odor or discharge from the ear can also be present.

To tackle this issue, booking an appointment with your doctor or hearing health professional would be the best course of action.

Professional help is the way to go when it comes to earwax removal. It’s not safe to attempt any kind of earwax removal at home since this should only by a specialist. Earwax softening drops can be in use for alleviate pain and pressure, but there should be inspection of problem as soon as possible.

Treatment for tinnitus from earwax blockage

Different methods are available to take care of earwax impaction but it’s essential to be cautious and only carry out the process in the hands of experienced professionals. Attempting this carelessly can be hazardous.

The first is micro suction, which is the most common method. A microscope is used to magnify the inside of the ear canal, and the earwax is removed using a small suction device. Many individuals rely on this approach, claiming it is the safest method to tackle obstructions. Some even assert that it is the only possible way to handle such predicaments.

Irrigation is a controversial practice that involves using a water pick. Avoid it if the person has perforated eardrums, diabetes, or weakened immunity. People with these conditions should look for alternative methods of cleaning their ears. If you are struggling with tinnitus, for your safety it is advised that you avoid irrigating, as it has been deemed to aggravate the condition on numerous occasions.


Treatments such as candles and water picks do not belong anywhere near your ears. These improvised methods can cause severe damage to your inner ear and eardrum. Never attempt to remove wax blockages on your own; it’s best to leave this task up to a professional. When using cotton swabs, it is important to be gentle towards earwax removalas forcing them can result in serious hearing issues such as damage to the eardrum, tinnitus, and even hearing loss. Pushing too hard can also cause earwax to get lodged deeper into the ears.

It’s essential to understand that tinnitus is not an illness. It is a sign that there may be a problem related to your hearing system.

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