Earwax helps protect our ear canal and actually assists in cleaning and lubricating the ear. However, too much earwax can cause problems for both your ears and your hearing aids.
How Earwax Can Damage Your Hearing Aids
Earwax buildup is one of the most common reasons people come in to have their hearing aids repaired. This is because, over time, earwax can reduce overall function and degrade parts of your hearing aid. This can:
- Cause a whistling noise in your hearing aids, known as feedback
- Reduce the hearing aid’s effectiveness by blocking sound from the microphone
- Cause your device to fit poorly and uncomfortably inside the ear
Hearing Aids Can Increase Earwax Production
Unfortunately, wearing hearing aids can actually cause you to produce more earwax, which in addition to wreaking havoc on your hearing aids, can cause you to develop tinnitus, ear pain, temporary hearing loss and ear infection.
According to The National Library of Medicine, “earwax is more likely to accumulate and cause a hearing impairment when normal extrusion is prevented (for example, by hearing aids or by the use of cotton buds to clean the ears).”
Because of the threat too much earwax poses to both your hearing aids and your ears, it’s important to know how to remove earwax from your device correctly.
Steps For Cleaning Earwax of Your Hearing Aids
- Inspect your hearing aids for any earwax.
- Wipe your hearing aids off with a soft, dry cloth.
- Use your tools from a hearing aid cleaning kit, such as a brush or pick to remove any leftover wax. You can often find these kits online or at a local drugstore like North Oaks Pharmacy.
- Replace your filters and wax guards on your hearing aids on a regular basis. The lifespan of these varies from person to person based on how much earwax they produce.
- Clean the sound bore or tip where sound enters your hearing aid. You can do this by using a wax loop or brush to scoop the earwax away from the opening.
- For those that wear a behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid, it’s important to check the tube that connects the hearing aid to the earmold and remove any wax you see there.
- Store your hearing aids in a drying box at night after cleaning to keep your device safe and free of excess moisture.
For more information on caring for your hearing aids or to make an appointment, call Decibel Hearing Services today.