Who experiences earwax buildup?

Earwax buildup can happen to anyone. However, it is more likely to occur in:

  • People who use hearing aids or ear plugs
  • People who put cotton swabs or other items into their ears
  • Older people
  • People with developmental disabilities
  • People with ear canals shaped in such a way as to interfere with natural wax removal

How is earwax impaction diagnosed?

Your health care provider can look into your ears with a special instrument, called an otoscope, to see if earwax buildup is present.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/17/2017.


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