What causes an overproduction of earwax?

Earwax overproduction may be caused by a multitude of factors, some of which are within an individual’s control, and others which are not. Earwax is of course a naturally produced substance in the ears, but sometimes having too much can be inconvenient, uncomfortable, and cause a range of symptoms. These symptoms can include, but are not limited to earache, itchiness, hearing loss and tinnitus (hearing ringing sounds). So, what exactly causes an overproduction of earwax?

Studies have found that some people simply produce too much earwax because the ear glands in the ear canals naturally overproduce. One factor which causes an earwax build-up is that their bodies produce earwax which is naturally hard or dry. They may also have narrow or hairy ear canals, which of course means that the wax will be more easily trapped and therefore build up quicker. Age is another factor, because as you get older, earwax typically becomes drier. Finally, you may be experiencing bony growths in the outer part of the ear canal, which will also cause an earwax build-up.

Aside from these factors, which are out of an individual’s control, there are some external factors which can cause an overproduction of earwax. For instance, earwax can build up if you insert objects into your ear canal, such as ear plugs, earphones, or even hearing aids. Commonly, people will actually be inserting these objects to get rid of excess earwax (such as cotton buds), but they are contact devices and therefore stimulate more earwax production.

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