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Can Ear Wax Build-up Cause Dizziness? – Symptoms And Causes Explored

Earwax or cerumen is a natural and necessary substance that our body produces to protect the ear canal from dust, debris, and bacteria. However, when ear wax accumulates, it can lead to a range of problems, including hearing loss and discomfort. Surprisingly, ear wax build-up can even cause dizziness, which might leave many wondering how something on the ear can affect our sense of balance. Read through and find out how.

The Inner Ear And Balance – How Are They Connected?

Knowing how the inner ear can maintain our  balance is important so as to fully comprehend how it can influence dizziness. The inner ear contains the vestibular system which is responsible for detecting changes in the head position and movement.

It consists of tiny structures called semicircular canals, which are filled with fluid and hair cells. These canals sense the movement of the fluid when you tilt your head or make other positional changes. The information is then transmitted to the brain which processes it, to help maintain balance.

The Inner Ear And Balance

The Connection Between Earwax And Dizziness

When ear wax builds up in the ear canal, it can potentially interfere with the proper function of the inner ears balance system. This happens in the following ways:

  • Pressure on the eardrum: As earwax accumulates, it can exert pressure on the eardrum. This pressure can disrupt the normal movement of the eardrum and ossicles (the small bones in the middle ear) necessary for proper transmission of sounds and balance information to the inner ear.
  • Blockage of the ear canal: An excessive amount of earwax can partially or completely  block the ear canal. When this happens it can impact the ability of sound waves to reach the eardrum and affect the transmission of sound to the inner ear. Furthermore the blockage can disrupt the balance of fluid and pressure in the ear, leading to feelings of dizziness and imbalance.
  • Irritation of vestibular nerves: Earwax can also cause irritation to the vestibular nerves in the ear. These nerves play a crucial role in transmitting balance signals to the brain. When they are irritated they may send inaccurate or conflicting information, resulting in dizziness.

Symptoms Of Dizziness Caused By Earwax

Dizziness resulting from earwax can occur in the following ways:

Symptoms Of Dizziness Caused By Earwax

  • Vertigo: This is a spinning sensation, as if you or your surroundings are moving when they are not. It can be brief or persistent indicating inner ear issues. 
  • Unsteadiness: You might feel off balance or unsteady on your feet, as if you are about to fall.
  • Nausea: Dizziness often triggers nausea, especially when it’s accompanied by vertigo.
  • Disorientation: You may find it challenging to maintain your orientation or a clear sense of direction. 
  • Hearing problems: Hearing loss or muffled hearing can be associated with earwax build-up and may contribute to feelings of dizziness.

How To Treat Earwax Build-up And Dizziness?

A belated news is that dizziness caused by earwax is temporary and  can be treated. If you experience the aforementioned symptoms, kindly seek medical attention. An audiologist can examine your ears and if necessary remove the excess earwax safely.

Below are methods of earwax removal:

  • Ear Drops: Special ear drops can soften the earwax, making it easier for it to be removed naturally.
  • Irrigation: Using warm water or saline solution, a healthcare provider may gently flush out the earwax.
  • Manual Remover: In some cases a medical professional may manually remove the earwax using specialised tools.


Certainly, earwax buildup can cause dizziness. If you feel dizzy, go for a medical checkup, do not admit it is caused by earwax.

The inner ears are delicate, take proper care of it. Never use cotton swabs to self clean your ears rather, meet an audiologist or a healthcare professional to safely clean your ears to avoid hearing loss. 

Many who cannot hear craves to hear sounds in the natural environment. Imagine not hearing the raindrop, or a car horn, very saddened!

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