The ear canal has glands that produce a waxy oil called cerumen. Earwax traps dust, dirt and dried shampoo, and can stop bad bacteria from growing in the ear. Earwax looks different for different people. It can be wet or dry, sticky or flaky. For most people who produce a regular amount of earwax, the ears can easily remove the wax on their own. However, sometimes wax can build up and block the ear canal. A wax blockage can become quite uncomfortable, and may cause temporary hearing loss or dizziness. You can hurt your ear and hearing by trying to get rid of your earwax at home. You can puncture the eardrum or push the wax even further into the ear by using tooth picks, hair pins, or cotton swaps (e.g. Q-tips). The audiologists at Alexandria Hearing Centers are trained and equipped to perform earwax removal. Contact us if you are experiencing hearing loss or dizziness. We will check your ears for wax and proceed with removal and/or a hearing test when necessary.