Does earwax damage my hearing aids??

Our body produces earwax to rid the ears of dirt and debris, thus cleaning them naturally. However, the buildup of earwax can also cause problems – for both hearing aid users and those without hearing loss.

What is the purpose of earwax?

Cerumen, better known as earwax, is a substance naturally produced by the glands in the ear canal. It protects the ear by keeping dirt and germs that can cause infections out of the eardrum.

As you talk, chew, or otherwise move your jaw, the earwax is slowly carried out of your ear to avoid buildup. So normally the body gets rid of old earwax on its own. However, under certain circumstances, earwax can accumulate in your ear canal.

Should you clean your ears?

A number of studies and sources advise against using cleaning utensils such as Q-tips and tweezers to clean the ears. The rough surface, slipping or pressing too hard can even cause severe, irreparable hearing loss in some circumstances. In addition, there are non-invasive methods, such as earwax removal kits or drops. However, the effectiveness and safety of this is debated.

While earwax-removing candles have proven ineffective, kits and drops can certainly help rid ears of excess wax. However, these methods are only useful if you regularly suffer from clogged ears due to excessive production of wax. Due to the body’s own cleaning process, the ears do not otherwise need to be cleaned regularly.

If your ears are blocked, it is generally safer to have the problem treated by a professional. This professional has the appropriate tools and is trained to solve the problem safely and effectively, and you will avoid possible injury this way.

Can earwax damage hearing aids?

If you wear hearing aids regularly, you should take the cleaning of your ears seriously. In fact, hearing aids can stimulate the production of earwax and prevent the natural way of clearing it. This, in turn, can lead to a number of problems, such as blockage of the ear canal or damage to the hearing aid.

If the earwax is not removed naturally, or artificially, it will accumulate in your ear, which can cause further hearing problems, ear pain and even serious infections. Hearing aid functionality can be severely affected, especially if the ear canal is too clogged to transmit sound.

The result is uncomfortable feedback, which could be mistaken for a technical malfunction of the device.

In addition, if your ears are not cleaned regularly, the earwax can clog your hearing aids. The substance can get into receivers and slots, actually interfering with the proper functioning of the hearing aids.

About 60-70% of all damaged hearing aids that are sent for repair are simply clogged or have their functionality weakened by organic materials. Since the hearing aid is in constant contact with the skin and ears, it is essential to keep these areas clean. By making sure you do this, you can also extend the life of your hearing aid in this way.

When should I have my ears professionally cleaned?

It may be difficult to know exactly when to clean the ears. If you can estimate how quickly cerumen forms, try to adjust your ear cleanings accordingly to correct the problem. If you suffer from ear pain, your hearing aids whistle during use or are excessively dirty, Signia recommends having your ears professionally cleaned. Never have your ears flushed if you have tubes in your ears, a perforated eardrum or a chronic ear infection.

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