Cerumen, or ear wax, is a normal part of the ear canal. It serves to moisturize the skin and prevent infections. Cerumen impaction in the ear canals may result from use of cotton swabs, which pushes the wax deep into the ear canal. Other people are prone to wax impaction due to small ear canals or excessive wax production. If not able to be removed by a primary care physician, the wax can be removed by an otolaryngologist, who has special instruments, microscopes and suction equipment.