Ear Wax and Tinnitus

Tinnitus is the perception of phantom noises like ringing or buzzing in the ears. Whilst earwax blockages can contribute to tinnitus, it is not the sole cause. Factors such as middle ear infections, dental problems, medication, loud noises, and emotional events can also trigger tinnitus.

Worried that your impacted ear wax might be causing tinnitus? Wondering what causes tinnitus, and how you can find relief from these symptoms? Find out more about this common ear concern.

If you suspect that excessive earwax is worsening your tinnitus, it’s important to avoid using cotton buds or other implements, as they can push the wax deeper and cause damage. 

impacted ear wax

Instead, using softening ear drops may help to relieve symptoms by creating a gap in the ear wax blockage. Do not use ear drops if you have a hole in your eardrum and consult your GP.

For safe and gentle removal of impacted wax, consider visiting Earworx for micro-suction treatment. Our Registered Nurses can also address the underlying causes of your wax buildup to prevent future occurrences and determine if medical referral is necessary.

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is the perception of sounds like ringing, buzzing, humming or clicking without an external source. It is sometimes referred to as experiencing ‘phantom noises’. To some people it sounds like the dishwasher going in another room, to others it is the deafening roar of cicadas in summer. It can be present sometimes, or all the time. It can be in one ear, or both. It can be subtle, like an annoying background noise, or it can be so overwhelming that you find it difficult to concentrate.

Is Tinnitus Caused by Earwax?

Blockage of the ear canal from ear wax can certainly contribute to tinnitus (1). In fact, even a small amount of wax on the ear drum can result in tinnitus (2). But with only 1 in 20 adults experiencing excessive or impacted wax in their ears (1), and as many as 1 in 7 people experiencing some form of tinnitus, removal of ear wax may not be your solution. However, eliminating ear wax blockage as a cause is certainly a good first step.

Other common causes which may trigger tinnitus include- middle ear infections, dental or jaw problems, some medications, exposure to loud noises, inner ear damage, hearing loss and even emotional or stressful events (3).

How Earworx Can Assist with Tinnitus Relief

If you have an ear full of wax that you suspect may be contributing to or worsening your tinnitus, clearing this excess wax may help you to find some relief.

Firstly, be aware that many home-remedies are not recommended and can in fact worsen the problem. Never use a cotton bud or any other implement to try and clean or clear an ear wax blockage. This will only push wax deeper, potentially causing damage to your ear canal. The safest at home remedy for blocked ears is to use softening drops. These can only be used if you do not have a hole in the ear drum or grommets.

If you continue to suffer from blocked and uncomfortable ears, make an appointment at Earworx so our nurses can remove your earwax gently and safely using the micro-suction technique. This is the best way to remove hard and impacted wax that is trapped deep in the ear.

How Do I Stop My Ears Becoming Impacted Again?

When you come into an Earworx clinic, our friendly Registered Nurses will educate you on risk factors for wax impaction and will give you some clinical recommendations for you to use moving forward. You can ask any questions, feel confident that your wax build up can have a management plan, and that your Registered Nurse understands when medical referral may be necessary.

Contact Earworx Today

If you have any more questions about earwax removal, feel free to contact our friendly staff or book an appointment online.

1. Schwartz et al 2017, Clinical Practice Guideline (Update): Earwax (Cerumen Impaction), Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Vol 156 (IS) SI-S29 2. Tunkel et al 2014, Clinical Practice Guideline: Tinnitus, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Vol 151 (2S) SI-S40 3. Factsheet – Tinnitus – Understanding and dealing with ‘ringing’ in the ears. Hearing Australia