ENT Head & Neck Surgery Center

Rm 02, 5/F., Kai Seng Commerical Centre,
4-6 Hankow Road, TST Kln, HK
(near Kowloon Hotel)
Tel: (852) 3100 0555
Fax: (852) 3100 0556

Lawrence Chow / ENT Doctor

What to Do With Excessive Earwax

Having some earwax is perfectly normal. In fact, earwax production is just a part of the normal processes of our body. The ear canal produces a waxy oil called the cerumen, which is widely known as earwax, in order to protect itself and the eardrum from foreign particles like dust, dirt, and other microorganisms that might enter the ear. Water can also irritate the skin of the ear canal, so earwax prevents it from too much water exposure.


You may notice that earwax usually comes out of your ears when you’re taking a shower or a bath. That’s normal, and simply washing it off or wiping down the opening of the ear is the recommended method of cleaning it.


What to do with excessive earwax?

Most people have grown up cleaning their ears with a cotton swab or even their finger, because it’s most common way to do the job and it’s believed to be effective. However, this is the cause of earwax buildup and temporary loss of hearing.


As a rule, you should never clean your ears with anything “smaller than your elbow.” This is because something so thin and pointy like a cotton swab will only push the earwax further into the ear and may even cause it to go deeper, causing an infection or irritating the eardrum. Using a cotton swab regularly will cause earwax to accumulate, harden and block your ear, causing hearing loss.


Do you have a buildup of earwax? Here are the symptoms you should watch out for:

  • tinnitus/ringing or hissing in the ear
  • Feeling of fullness and pressure
  • Pain in the ear
  • Sudden and temporary hearing loss


Removing hardened earwax is not too complicated. As a matter of fact, you can do it at home by yourself. You just have to remember to be careful with your ears and treat them gently.


 Here is what you should do:

  • Hold a bottle of mineral oil or olive oil in your hand to warm it up.
  • Lie down on your side with the side of the affected ear facing up.
  • Pour 3 to 4 drops of the oil into the ear. Remain in your position for about 10 minutes. This will soften up the earwax buildup.
  • Sit up and wait for the melted earwax to come out of your ear. You can tilt your head toward the side of the affected ear to make it easier.


If you think you have an infection, you should go to the ENT doctor instead and have them take care of the problem. Here are the symptoms of an ear infection:

  • Severe pain in the ear
  • Fever
  • Drainage
  • Pus coming out of your ear
  • A strange odor from your ear
  • Hearing loss
  • Fever
  • Dizziness




HK ENT Specialist

offering ENT services,

Hearing aids prescription,

Swallowing disorder assessment and treatment,

Head and Neck Oncology,

Sleep disordered breathing Management,

and Facial Plastic Surgery, etc.


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