Have you noticed that your hearing seems muffled when talking with your partner or when the barista calls out your coffee order at Brew Ha Ha? If so, it could be a problem with earwax buildup on your hearing aid.
Hearing Aid Problems Caused by Too Much Earwax
When earwax builds up on your hearing aids, it can stop sound from effectively traveling through your ear. This can reduce your ability to hear when you are in a work meeting or out socializing with friends.
It also has the potential to block sound waves sent from the hearing aid receiver to the microphone. The sound then bounces back and causes feedback, a high-pitched whistling noise that can be uncomfortable.
Over time, moisture and acids from too much earwax can start to degrade your hearing aid. This can cause damage severe enough that you may need to repair or even replace your device.
Objects in Ear Increase Earwax Production
Foreign objects in the ear appear to increase the production of earwax. This includes hearing aids. Not only that, but hearing aids can also disrupt the natural self-cleaning process of the ear.
Normally, the ideal way to clean your ears is to let the earwax dry and slough off on its own. However, research has shown that earwax is more likely to accumulate and cause a hearing impairment when this natural cleaning method is prevented by an object in your ear.
Steps to Avoid Earwax Buildup
Taking the necessary steps to prevent earwax buildup is essential to protecting your hearing aids and keeping your ears healthy. Ways to do this include:
- Avoid trying to remove earwax with a cotton swab. This can actually push earwax farther into the ear canal and cause compaction, irritation, and even temporary hearing loss. You can gently use a damp washcloth to clean your ears, but never stick anything inside the canal.
- Have a medical professional examine your ears. Have your ears checked by a professional every six months or any time you’re experiencing symptoms of blockage. If they find earwax buildup, they can remove it safely in the office or use a wax-dissolving agent.
- Clean your hearing aids daily. Clean your hearing aids every night before you go to bed to help remove earwax and other debris. To prevent moisture damage, make sure to store them in a cool, dry place while you sleep.
For additional information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing aid expert, contact Wilmington Audiology Services today.