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Earwax is a helpful and natural part of your body's defenses. It cleans, lubricates and protects your ear canal by trapping dirt and slowing the growth of bacteria.
Earwax blockages commonly occur when people try to clean their ears on their own by placing cotton swabs or other items in their ears. This often just pushes wax deeper into the ear, which can damage the lining of your ear canal or eardrum.
Never attempt to dig out excessive or hardened earwax with available items, such as a paper clip, a cotton swab or a hairpin.
If your eardrum doesn't contain a tube or have a hole in it, these self-care measures may help you remove excess earwax that's blocking your ear canal:
Signs and symptoms of earwax blockage may include:
This article is written by Mayo Clinic staff. Find more health and medical information on mayoclinic.org.
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