Cerumen impaction refers to the buildup of layers of earwax within the ear canal to the point of blocking the canal and putting pressure on the eardrum. Ironically, cerumen impaction is often caused by misguided attempts to remove earwax.
Symptoms: Signs and symptoms of earwax blockage may include: Earache. Feeling of fullness in the affected ear. Ringing or noises in the ear (tinnitus) Decreased hearing in the affected ear. Dizziness. Cough.
Diagnosis: A doctor can diagnose earwax blockage (or eardrum perforation) by listening to the patient's symptoms and then looking into the ear with an otoscope.
Treament: Most cases of ear wax blockage can be treated at home. The following can be used to soften wax in the ear: Baby oil Commercial drops Glycerin Mineral oil Water If you cannot remove the wax plug or you have discomfort, consult a health care provider, who may remove the wax by: Repeating the irrigation attempts. Suctioning the ear canal. Using a small device called a curette. Using a microscope to help.