Earwax, also called cerumen, is produced by glands in the ears to clean, lubricate and protect the ears from bacteria. It is important that the ear produces earwax, but sometimes it produces too much. When this happens, people sometimes stick foreign objects like cotton swabs or bobby pins into the ear canal to clean it out, but this is actually a common cause for blockage. Sticking foreign objects into the ears can pack earwax even further into the ear canal, and when earwax becomes impacted, it may require removal from a doctor.
Temporomandibular muscle and joint (TMJ) disorders are classified as pain and muscle dysfunction in the jaw joint but are a very common cause of ear pain. Symptoms include pain or tenderness in the jaw or temporomandibular joints, aching in or around the ear, difficulty or pain while chewing and locking of the jaw joint. In some cases, symptoms of TMJ may go away on their own. If symptoms persist and/or affect your quality of life, contact your doctor.
Tinnitus is described as an irritating buzzing, humming or ringing in the ears. What many don’t realize is that it is maybe a symptom of a greater problem. The first step to treating tinnitus is to diagnose the underlying issue. Some common causes of tinnitus include hearing loss, an infection, middle ear or nerve tumors, circulation disorders, noise-induced hearing loss of the inner ear, migraines and medications. It is important to see a doctor to identify tinnitus and prevent hearing loss.