Wax in Eye Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Wax in Eye: Our eyes are one of the most sensitive organs of our body and any foreign object or substance can irritate them. One such commonly faced problem is the accumulation of wax in the eye. Yes, you read it right! A wax buildup in our ear is quite common and we often clean it out, but it can also build up in our eyes and cause much discomfort and irritation.

In this article, we will dive into the causes, symptoms, and treatment for wax in the eye to help you understand and manage the condition better.

What causes wax buildup in the eye?

There are several ways that wax can end up in the eye. One of the most common ways is by touching the ear after applying ear drops or earwax-softening drops and then accidentally touching the eye.

Wax buildup in the eye can occur due to various other reasons, including:

  • Natural wax secretion from the glands
  • Conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the conjunctiva
  • Eye infections
  • Exposure to dust, pollen, or other irritants
  • Wearing contact lenses for extended periods of time
  • Swimming without goggles
Wax in Eye
Wax in Eye

What are the symptoms of wax in the eye?

When wax enters the eye, it can cause several symptoms. The most common symptom is a feeling of discomfort or irritation in the eye, which can be accompanied by redness and watering of the eye. Additionally, the presence of wax in the eye can cause blurred vision, difficulty opening or closing the eye, headache, and sensitivity to light. Some people may also experience a mild stinging sensation in the eye.

If left untreated, a wax buildup in the eye can lead to various symptoms like:

  • Blurred vision
  • Eyelid swelling
  • Redness and itchiness in the eyes
  • Sticky, painful discharge from the eyes
  • Sensitivity to light

If these symptoms persist, it is recommended that you consult an ophthalmologist.

How to prevent wax build-up in the eye?

Prevention is always better than cure, and the same is true for wax in the eye. Here are some ways you can reduce the risk of wax buildup in the eye:

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes with dirty hands
  • Remove makeup before sleeping
  • Keep your contact lenses clean and replace them regularly
  • Use protective eyewear while swimming
  • Use air purifiers to lessen dust and allergens indoors

How to remove earwax from the eye?

It is important to properly remove earwax from the eye, both to prevent further irritation and to avoid risking any potential vision problems.

  • First, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Fill a clean, sterile eye dropper with warm water.
  • Gently tilt your head to one side and administer the drops into the affected eye.
  • Blink a few times to help spread the water and dislodge any wax.
  • Use a sterile cotton swab to remove any wax that comes to the surface.
  • Repeat these steps for the other eye if necessary.

When to consult an ophthalmologist?

The treatment of wax in the eye will depend on the severity of the symptoms. In most cases, it is recommended to visit an ophthalmologist if you have wax in your eye. The ophthalmologist will thoroughly examine the eye and remove the wax using a special tool. It is essential to avoid trying to remove the wax yourself, as this can cause further damage to the eye. In case of severe symptoms, such as intense pain or marked decrease in vision, you should seek medical attention immediately.

If the symptoms persist or become severe, it is necessary to consult an ophthalmologist. They can offer the following treatments:

  • Prescribe eye drops or medications
  • Recommend warm compresses or other soothing remedies
  • Suggest a visit to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist if necessary for further assessment


A wax buildup in the eye can cause much discomfort and irritation but with proper attention and care, it can be remedied easily. We hope that this article has given you enough information on the causes, symptoms, and treatment of wax in the eye. Remember, if the symptoms persist, please consult an ophthalmologist for the appropriate treatment as soon as possible.

By Ishan Crawford

Prior to the position, Ishan was senior vice president, strategy & development for Cumbernauld-media Company since April 2013. He joined the Company in 2004 and has served in several corporate developments, business development and strategic planning roles for three chief executives. During that time, he helped transform the Company from a traditional U.S. media conglomerate into a global digital subscription service, unified by the journalism and brand of Cumbernauld-media.

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