At times, however, the ear glands may produce more wax than necessary, and earwax blockage can occur. People who use hearing aids, wear earplugs, or push objects such as cotton swabs into their ears can be more prone to these problems.
About 10 percent of children and more than 30 percent of older and cognitively impaired patients have excessive earwax, according to a report published by the American Family Physician. The excess buildup — more than the ear can remove naturally — may cause one or more symptoms such as the following:
When earwax builds to the point of causing pain or other symptoms, or preventing a professional examination of the ear, it’s time to clean it out.