Itchy ears or ear canals are common for hearing aid users, especially new users. It makes perfect sense since our body will see a hearing aid as a foreign object, initially. Luckily, there are quick and easy things you can do to get rid of that itch.
- Make sure there isn’t an underlying issue. Talk to your doctor to rule out issues like eczema or ear infection. It’s fairly common for skin issues like eczema to flare up with the introduction of a hearing aid. If there is no other explanation, then the irritation may be related to your hearing aid.
- Keep it clean! Hearing aids can trap moisture which can lead to skin irritation. Practice proper ear and hearing aid hygiene. Trapped moisture can also lead to bacterial growth and potential infection. Finally, excess ear wax can contribute to trapped moisture and may lead to itching. Do NOT attempt to deal with extra ear wax with Q-tips. See a hearing specialist for a professional cleaning.
- …But not too clean. There is such a thing as too much cleanliness when it comes to our ears. Ear wax (cerumen) is the ear’s self-cleaning system. It traps dirt and other unwanted materials and then moves it towards the outer ear to be expelled. It also keeps the delicate skin of the inner ear from drying out. Over cleaning removes helpful ear wax and can lead to cracks and irritation in the skin.
- Fit matters. A poorly-fitted hearing aid is an irritant and the body will respond to all irritants. Our ears are unique and your ear mold needs to be custom-made for your ear.
- Watch for signs of allergic reaction. It is very uncommon, but certain people may react to the materials used to surround the hearing aid, like the plastic ear mold. If you are one of the rare people with an allergic response to a hearing aid, see your audiologist for solutions.
- Treat mild itching at home. Once you are sure that the itching is a response to a hearing aid, explore some over-the-counter options or home remedies for relief. A few drops of baby oil or olive oil in the ear at night before you go to sleep can alleviate the dryness and itching. A word of caution on this approach, do not put your hearing aid in after applying oils. Oils and liquids should not come in direct contact with hearing aids.
Constantly itchy ears are way more than a mild annoyance. Any ear disruptions can impact your ability to concentrate and may lead to feelings of frustration. In the case of itchiness caused by hearing aids, it is imperative to address this concern quickly and to not let it discourage you from wearing your hearing aids. If the above tips do not provide relief, please schedule an appointment with us to discuss a treatment plan to keep you comfortable and hearing well.