Have you noticed that your hearing seems muffled when talking with your partner or when the barista calls out your order at Mazarine Coffee? If so, it could be a problem with earwax buildup on your hearing aid.
Earwax Buildup Can Damage Hearing Aids
While it’s important that our ears make the correct amount of earwax for our protection, too much of it can wreak havoc on hearing aids. It can lead to issues such as:
- Hearing aid feedback
- Sound being blocked from entering your ear
- Cause your device to fit poorly or cause discomfort in your ear
- Damage to the hearing aid and battery from moisture caused by the earwax, leading it to malfunction completely
Hearing Aid Use Increases Earwax Production
Compounding the problem is that foreign objects in the ear can increase the production of earwax, including hearing aids. Not only that, but they can also interfere with the natural self-cleaning process of the ear.
Under normal circumstances, earwax dries and sloughs off on its own. However, earwax is more likely to accumulate and cause a hearing impairment when this natural cleaning method is prevented when something is in your ear.
Earwax Buildup and Hearing Loss
You may notice that your hearing loss is worse when you experience earwax buildup. This can be because the wax has clogged part of your device or because a blockage has occurred in your ear canal, and it is affecting your ability to hear. This can also cause irritation and pain in your ear.
How to Avoid Earwax Buildup
Because you are more prone to build up as a hearing aid user, you must take the steps needed to protect your ears and device from too much earwax. You can do this by:
- Being diligent about your hearing aid cleaning routine. Wipe your device off with a soft, dry cloth every night before you go to bed to help remove earwax and other debris. You can also use a soft-bristled brush or tools like ventilation cleaners. Make sure to store your device somewhere secure and dry. You can also consider using a drying box at night as a way to remove any excess moisture.
- Don’t use a cotton swab. It may be tempting to try and remove earwax yourself using a cotton swab or Q-tip. However, doing so runs the risk of pushing earwax further into your ear, leading to compaction.
- Visit your healthcare provider to check for earwax buildup. Have your ears checked by a professional every six months or any time you’re experiencing symptoms of blockage. If any impaction is found, they can safely remove it in the office.
For additional information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing aid expert, contact San Francisco Audiology today.