An accumulation of wax in the external ear. Wax in the ear is normal and usually comes out naturally from time to time. It may accumulate to form a wax plug and cause a problem for the patient.


  • Excessive and/or thick wax production
  • Small, tortuous and/or hairy ear canal
  • Use of ear pads

Clinical features

  • Blocked ears
  • Buzzing sound
  • Sometimes mild pain


General measures

  • Soften the wax by inserting drops of Vegetable oil or Glycerine or Sodium bicarbonate into the
    ear 3 times a day for a few days. After this the wax may fall out on its own
  • Syringe the ear carefully with clean warm water when the wax is soft
  • Advise the patient not to poke anything into the ear in an attempt to clean it, as this may damage the eardrums
  • Do not syringe if (a) there is history of discharge and (b) if there is pain