Occasionally, however, cerumen production can go a bit overboard. 

Initially, this overproduction of earwax can cause temporary hearing impairment, itching, and even tinnitus. Left unchecked, cerumen impaction has the potential to permanently damage the ear. In order to understand the treatment of this condition, we first need to take a look at the causes. 

Excessive or Improper Cleaning

We've said it before, and we'll say it again. Do not put cotton swabs, foreign objects, ear candles, essential oils, or anything else in your ear. These types of methods may seem like they work at first. 

But all they really do is cause problems. First and foremost, objects such as cotton swabs can cause microabrasions and even puncture the ear canal. And we're not even going to get into the kind of damage that can be done by ear candling and chemicals. 

Second, when you stick an object in your ear to clear out the wax, it can potentially trigger the sebaceous glands to produce more defeating the whole purpose.

It's not just improper cleaning methods that can cause issues, either. Being too aggressive with over-the-counter or physician-approved cleaning solutions can also remove too much wax and cause overproduction. Read the instructions, and take warnings seriously. 

They exist for a reason. 

Allergens and Stress Responses

Pollen irritates more than the sinuses. Exposure to allergens can wreak havoc on the sebaceous glands, as well. When the air is filled with clouds of allergens, the particles often create irritation in the ear. That, in turn, can cause the overproduction of cerumen. 

Particles that can trigger this response include: 

  • Pet dander
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Mold spores 

The body can also overproduce cerumen as a stress response. Unfortunately, particularly in recent days, stress is more or less unavoidable. Granted, it's not guaranteed to make your sebaceous glands go haywire, as stress affects different people in different ways — though if you have naturally oily skin, you're likelier to be at risk. 

Contact Stimulus

Often caused by objects coming in contact with the outer ear's sensitive skin(where cerumen is produced) contact stimulus is thought to trigger overproduction. A hearing aid, for example, might trigger it as it moves and shifts with the ear over the course of the day. Since it's not as though you can simply stop using your hearing aid, the best thing you can do is keep it clear of excess moisture and as clean as possible.

Working out with earbuds or wearing a headset at work may also trigger cerumen overproduction by trapping sweat or debris in the ear. 

Final Thoughts

For most people, earwax is an ordinary, unremarkable part of their day-to-day. For others, it can be a constant thorn in their side, causing them to continually seek methods by which they might calm their overactive sebaceous glands. 

Since you can't control how much earwax you produce, the best course is to simply keep your ears as clean as you can — and speak to an ear, nose, and throat specialist every now and then.