women with head in hands

Can Blocked Hard Impacted Earwax Cause Headaches?

Headaches are all too common and, as anyone who suffers will know all too well, can have a debilitating impact on your daily life and routine. There are a number of causes of headaches, from sinusitis to stress headaches, but one that is often overlooked is blocked ear wax.

We took a closer look at why earwax can be a problem, and the steps that you can take to reduce it.

What Is Earwax?

Earwax is the waxy substance produced by glands in the outer part of the ear canal. It helps keep the ear canal clean and free of bacteria. The amount of earwax varies from person to person, and in some people, it may hardly be present at all. In others it may build up over time, causing problems such as headaches.

What Causes Excessive Earwax?

The main reason for earwax production is the presence of oil-producing glands in the outer part (or meatus) of the ear canal. These glands produce an oily secretion which then becomes trapped within the ear canal. This is normal and should not cause any problems. However, if these glands become clogged with earwax they may stop producing this oil, leading to dryness and irritation.

The build-up of earwax can lead to blockages in the ear canal, which can affect hearing. If left untreated, this could result in pain or even infection.

What Are The Signs Of Earwax Build-Up?

If you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s likely that you have a problem with earwax:

  • A foul smell coming out of your ears
  • Your ears feel plugged or blocked
  • You find it difficult to hear clearly
  • You get frequent infections
  • You experience dizziness or balance issues

Can Earwax Cause Headaches?

Yes, earwax can cause headaches. When earwax builds up, it can block the opening of the ear canal, making it hard to breathe through the nose. As a result, the pressure inside the head increases, which can trigger headaches.

In addition, when earwax builds up in the ear canal, it can irritate the lining of the eardrum, which can cause pain.

Another issue of ear wax build up is Tinnitus, read our article ‘Can ear wax cause tinnitus?‘ to find out more.

How To Get Rid Of Ear wax

There are several ways to remove ear wax, including using cotton buds or swabs, cleaning your ear canal with water, or using special ear wax removal products like ear candling.

  • Cotton Buds

To use cotton buds, first, make sure that there isn’t any wax stuck inside your ear canal. Then gently insert a pair of cotton buds into the outside of the ear – never stick a cotton bud down into your ear canal. Gently turn the surface of the cotton bud across the edge of the ear – this will remove any obvious built-up and can alleviate symptoms.

  • Oil Droppers

Another way to remove earwax is to use an oil dropper. Simply place the end of the dropper into the ear canal and squeeze the bulb to release the oil, before gently wiping away the residue with a soft cloth. The oil will help loosen any remaining wax, and the gentle wipe will ensure that no debris remains behind.

  • See A Specialist

If none of the above methods work, you might need to see a specialist, such as those here at Welling Ear Wax Clinic who specialise in ear wax removal in Bromley. More specifically, we specialise in microsuction ear wax removal, which is the most frequently used method for removing built-up wax from the ear.

Final Thoughts

If you’re struggling with hearing issues, it’s essential to rule out hard impacted ear wax before considering hearing aids from specialised providers.

Earwax is important for keeping the ear canal clean and healthy. But too much earwax can cause problems, such as headaches. So, if you notice any of the signs mentioned above, don’t hesitate to contact us today in our earwax clinic in Bexley and surrounded areas, and see how we can help.