You may notice more ear wax in your ear canals after you start wearing hearing aids. This is nothing to stress about. Because the hearing aid occupies area around the ear canal, the air is not as free flowing as it would be unobstructed. Let’s explore exactly how wax builds up in your ear canals.
How Wax Build Up in Your Ear Canal Works
Your ear canals are pathways from your outer ears to your middle ears. These one-inch-long tubes conduct sound to the ear drums which causes them to vibrate. The ear drum is also a perfect air and water seal against intrusion. Nothing should get past it.
We can imagine an ear canal as a thin oval channel lined with skin, but with a single entrance. Your ear canals are open to the world outside, meaning open to bacteria too. Cerumen glands in the skin produce and discharge ear wax to cleanse and lubricate the channel and to protect it, to an extent, from fungi, bacteria and insects.
Under normal circumstances this wax gradually finds its way to the outer ear where it falls out or we remove it when we wash. A hearing aid earpiece gets in the way and causes a wax build up. However, the skin keeps on making it regardless.
That’s why we notice more ear wax in our ear canals after we start wearing hearing aids. It’s not a big deal. We have a new chore to do in exchange for the pleasure of hearing what other people say. That job is caring for two miracles, our ears.
How Different Types of Hearing Aids Affect This Process
Those with semi-permanent implants are the most susceptible to ear wax build up. The wax can harden and degrade a hearing aid. In fact, over half all hearing aids world-wide fail because of this phenomenon. We can easily remove our behind-the-ear hearing aids at night for nature to restore the balance.
However, we still have to manage the wax build up that remains so these three things can’t happen:
- Physical damage to the hearing aid
- Annoying hearing aid feedback
- Diminishing quality of sounds we hear
Wax build up can be more than an annoyance if you wear a semi-permanent implant. We don’t supply such devices. However, we have heard hardened ear wax may eventually damage the sensitive surface of the ear drum if it accumulates behind the device.
This is yet another good reason to consider a behind-the-ear hearing aid to improve your listening. They pop on and off easily so your ear wax can reach your outer ear while you sleep peacefully at night.
Extra Precautions Well Worth Considering Carefully
Many of our clients are elderly (or getting there) and whose hearing gradually weakened from their fifties onward. If they have regular checkups, we recommend they ask their care provider to quickly check for compacted ear wax. This does not always happen. None the less it’s wise to take precautions with all aspects of our health.
How the Benefits Outweigh the Possibility of Wax Build Up
Foreign objects in ears, including hearing aids and grommets seem to stimulate production of more wax. This is a natural thing, and a sign our ear defenses are working well. We may also experience a little more moisture, as the skin in the ear canal sweats a little more.
However, these are minor inconveniences compared to problems associated with degenerative hearing:
- We become so used to not following conversations at meetings we don’t realize it’s our hearing that’s the problem
- Parties fall off our agenda, and socialization with it because we simply cannot hear the voices above the noise
- We become increasingly reclusive because we think other people cannot hear what we are saying, and we shout at cashiers at the checkout
There’s no need to become the ‘difficult person’ at the checkout when hearing aids can make such a difference in our lives.
Blue Angels wants to help you improve your hearing so you enjoy being part of society again. We’re running a special offer at the moment you really ought to consider carefully.
We are currently able to supply twin behind-the-ear hearing aids with accessories for the amazing price of $197.99 for the pair. You’ll not find that value easily elsewhere. It’s a case of buy one get one free. Just do it while stocks last.