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What can cause earwax buildup, and what are some ways to handle it?

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Cleaning inside your ear canal, especially with cotton swabs, can push wax deeper into the ear. That can cause a wax buildup (cerumen impaction) that can make it hard to hear with the affected ear. The shape of the canals can make it hard to clear the wax, and hearing aids or earplugs also can cause buildup.

A few drops of mineral oil, baby oil, glycerin, or hydrogen peroxide in your ear can soften the wax and help clear it out. If that doesn't work, your doctor can use tools to remove the wax.

From: Why Is My Hearing Muffled? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: "Ear Wax and Care."

American Hearing Research Foundation: "Ear Wax."

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: "Causes of Hearing Loss in Adults."

American Tinnitus Association: "Causes," "Treatment Options," "Understanding the Facts."

Cleveland Clinic: "Cerumen Impaction."

Mayo Clinic: "Airplane Ear," "Meniere's Disease."

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: "Age-Related Hearing Loss," "Noise-Induced Hearing Loss."

Reviewed by Lisa Bernstein on August 01, 2018

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: "Ear Wax and Care."

American Hearing Research Foundation: "Ear Wax."

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: "Causes of Hearing Loss in Adults."

American Tinnitus Association: "Causes," "Treatment Options," "Understanding the Facts."

Cleveland Clinic: "Cerumen Impaction."

Mayo Clinic: "Airplane Ear," "Meniere's Disease."

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders: "Age-Related Hearing Loss," "Noise-Induced Hearing Loss."

Reviewed by Lisa Bernstein on August 01, 2018

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How common is age-related hearing loss, and what can cause it?

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