Removing toxins from your body is one of the reasons you can stay healthy. Earwax is the means used to clean out your ears and keep them from being damaged. Though beneficial to your health, earwax is not the best friend of your advanced technology hearing aid. A delicate balance of allowing your body to do its job while getting the most benefit from your hearing aids is critical.

What is the Purpose of Earwax?

Earwax, a.k.a. cerumen, is a substance created by the glands inside your ear canal. The purpose of earwax production is to prevent infectious germs from coming into contact with the middle ear and eardrum by trapping the debris so it can be removed. 

Earwax typically works its way out of the ear canal, carrying those nasty contaminants with it when you talk or chew. However, sometimes it accumulates rather than coming out, which can cause obstructive hearing loss and contribute to damage or performance issues for hearing instruments.

Cleaning Out Earwax

Never use tweezers, q-tips, or other objects in an attempt to clean out earwax. This practice risks causing irreparable damage to your ears and permanent hearing loss.

Ear drops and other non-invasive methods may or may not be effective. They are more likely to upset the delicate balance of earwax production, leading to dryness and irritation or a failure to trap and remove contaminants from the ear canal. If you are prone to earwax buildup, it is better to consult an audiologist or ENT to provide proper earwax removal rather than do it yourself.

What if I Wear Hearing Aids?

Earwax buildup creates complications for hearing aid users, stimulating cerumen production while blocking the natural migration of earwax out of the ear canal. When earwax cannot exit the ear canal, it causes infections and irritation. Buildup muffles or blocks the amplified sound of your hearing aid, rendering it ineffective. Additionally, the earwax obstruction causes reverberation, causing a high-pitched whistling sound known as feedback.

Between 60% and 70% of all hearing aids returned for repair are damaged by earwax buildup inside the unit. Consequently, not only does earwax in the vents and receivers of your hearing aid block or reduce its effectiveness, but the chemical composition of earwax contributes to the degradation of delicate internal parts. This degradation not only decreases hearing aid performance but threatens to shorten the life cycle of the instrument as well.

Better Hearing Health and Instrument Performance Result from Controlled Earwax

Controlling earwax is a critical part of healthy hearing for your ears and the performance and longevity of hearing instruments. Audiologists and ENT doctors understand the delicate balance necessary to maintain ear health and get the most out of hearing aids. 

We provide proper earwax removal to prevent the buildup of excessive earwax without damaging the natural process.

When it comes to hearing aid care and maintenance, we educate our patients to establish two consistent habits necessary to limit earwax damage. 

Your first line of defense includes daily cleaning using a wax pick to remove earwax from the receiver and vent holes while wiping down the instrument with a soft cloth or brush. 

In addition to daily cleaning, we teach our patients to change out the wax-guards provided with their particular hearing aid model or to bring them into the office to have them changed.

Pacific Hearing Inc. Protects Your Ears and Your Hearing Aids

Getting the best performance out of your hearing instruments is a crucial part of hearing care, but ear health is also critical. 

The team at Pacific Hearing is concerned about protecting both. Educating our patients about proper earwax removal along with adequate hearing aid cleaning and maintenance goes a long way toward our objective. 

Contact us for more information about controlling earwax buildup or technical support related to instrument cleaning and maintenance.

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Gregory Frazer, PhD, AuD, CCC-A, ABA, NBC-HIS

Gregory Frazer, PhD, AuD, CCC-A, ABA, NBC-HIS

Dr. Gregory Frazer entered private practice Audiology and Hearing Aid Dispensing in 1982. For 14 years he owned and operated Hearing Care Associates, which had 23 offices and was one of the largest audiology private practices in the U.S. Dr. Frazer is a well-known clinician and teacher and was the first audiologist to obtain dual doctorates in Audiology, both a PhD. in Audiology as well as the new Clinical Doctorate of Audiology, the AuD. He is Board Certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, American Academy of Audiology, and the National Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences. Dr. Frazer specializes in the evaluation and treatment of vertigo, dizziness, and hearing and balance disorders. Dr. Frazer is experienced in working with infants, children, and adults. He is semi-fluent in Spanish and Sign Language.