Can Ear Wax Cause Tinnitus?

Yes, earwax, also known as cerumen, can sometimes cause tinnitus, although it’s not a common cause. Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears when there is no external sound source. Earwax can contribute to tinnitus in the following ways:

  • Blockage: When earwax builds up and blocks the ear canal, it can affect the transmission of sound waves into the ear. This blockage can create a sensation of fullness or muffled hearing, which may be perceived as a form of tinnitus.
  • Pressure Changes: Earwax impaction can lead to changes in pressure within the ear canal, which can sometimes result in a ringing or buzzing sensation.
  • Irritation: Earwax can sometimes irritate the delicate skin of the ear canal, leading to a sensation of tinnitus or other unusual sounds.

It’s important to note that while earwax can contribute to tinnitus, there are many other potential causes of tinnitus as well, including exposure to loud noises, age-related hearing loss, certain medications, and underlying medical conditions. If you are experiencing tinnitus, it’s a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment, which may include earwax removal if it is contributing to the problem. Do not attempt to remove earwax yourself using objects like cotton swabs, as this can push the wax further into the ear canal and potentially worsen the problem.