One of the most common causes of ear pain and impaired hearing is the build up of earwax. You may experience itching, dryness, slight pain or hearing loss. Earwax is a yellow, waxy substance secreted in the ear canal. It plays an important role assisting in cleaning and lubrication and also provides some protection from bacteria, fungi and insects. Excess or impacted earwax can press against the ear drum and block the external auditory canal and impair hearing.