The Purpose of Earwax
Earwax is produced by the glands in the ear canal. It helps to trap dust and other small particles to prevent them from reaching the eardrum. If these small particles reach the eardrum, they can cause damage or an ear infection.
Earwax typically dries up and falls out of the ear with the trapped particles, but it can build up if it gets pushed deep into the ear canal.
Using cotton swabs, hearing aids or earplugs can cause earwax to become impacted.
Effects of Earwax Buildup
When earwax builds up, it can cause decreased hearing, dizziness, ear pain, a plugged or full sensation, ringing, itching or drainage.
A doctor such as an ENT specialist can manually remove the earwax, but you should seek medical care immediately if you experience a spinning sensation, balance problems, inability to walk, vomiting, high fever or sudden loss of hearing.
If you or someone you care for has symptoms of impacted earwax, please contact our North Sioux City office at (605) 217-4320 to schedule an appointment.