Everyone produces earwax. It is a healthy and important part of your auditory system, designed to help shift and remove dirt, dust, and bacteria, and to keep the ear free of foreign material. However, a buildup of that same earwax can become a problem, especially for those who wear hearing aids.
An earwax impaction can cause issues like feedback or muffled sound quality and can even exacerbate existing hearing loss. Medical providers can provide regular cleanings to ensure that earwax buildups are tackled safely, but learning to care for your hearing aid effectively is essential as well.
How Earwax Can Cause Hearing Aid Issues
When earwax begins to build up and doesn’t clear from the ear naturally, as it’s supposed to, it can affect the sound quality of your hearing aids. For one, the buildup can stop sound transmission. It can block the sound waves sent from the hearing aid to the auditory canal. This can bounce the sound waves backwards, causing feedback (a high-pitched squealing that many find quite annoying). Furthermore, earwax can clog parts of the hearing aid, such as vents and receivers, which stops it from working properly.
Proper Hearing Aid Cleaning
Staying on top of earwax build-ups can help prevent hearing aid malfunctions and repairs in the long-run. When you start cleaning, start by wiping the hearing aid with a clean, dry cloth. You should be able to spot most deposits of wax sticking to the device. Depending on the style of hearing aid you purchased, check the wax guards and domes regularly for signs of debris and ensure that the tubing is clear. You can also use a small wax brush or loop (which should have come in your initial fitting kit) to remove any lingering wax build-up. We also recommend the use of a dehumidifier to prevent excess moisture build-up, which can also damage the device.
Get in touch with our clinic if you have any further questions regarding ear wax build-up or hearing aid cleanings at 904-399-0350. You can also come to our Walk-In Clinic (Tuesdays 10:00am – 11:30am, Thursdays 1:00pm – 2:30pm) for help cleaning and troubleshooting your devices.