Ear wax acts as a protective barrier in the ear. It stops dirt getting to the ear drum, and acts as waterproofing for the ear.
Some people have more ear wax than others. Young children can often have a lot of ear wax. It is mostly nothing to worry about and does not need removing. Ear wax is designed to come away on its own and you may notice this sometimes - it is nothing to worry about.
Ear wax can become a problem when it is not left to come away from the ear by itself. Although it can be tempting, don't poke or prod ear wax with cotton buds or any other object into the ear. Doing this can push earwax down into the ear. The earwax can then become hard and cause a blockage.
Instead, wipe away any ear wax you can easily see around the outer ear with a warm, damp flannel.
If ear wax hardens and cannot come out on its own it might cause a ringing noise in the ear, mild earache and/or make hearing difficult. If this happens talk to your local pharmacist who will suggest the best way to treat the problem.
Earwax does not cause glue ear – that is different and is caused by a fluid build up in the middle ear.
If your child seems in a lot of pain in their ear it is not likely to be caused by wax – contact your GP practise or 111 for advice.
You can also contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.
The Lullaby Trust - Baby Check App- This app has simple checks that you can do if your baby is ill and helps you think about whether they need to see a doctor or health professional.
You can speak to other Norfolk parents and carers by clicking our online community forum below.