Earwax has the important job of preventing your ear canals from drying out as well as trapping dirt and germs. While ear wax is important to the health of your ears, too much of it can have negative effects. Not only can it become impacted, it can also get lodged in your hearing aids, causing whistling, feedback, sound distortion and low volume.
Below are four steps for removing earwax from your hearing aids.
1. Visually Inspect Your Hearing Aids
If you see earwax on the shell of your devices, wipe it with a soft, dry cloth. It’s sometimes the case that this is all that is needed to get your hearing aids back in working order. Never use cleaning agents or solvents unless they are specifically designed for hearing aids.
2. Use the Wax Pick/Wire Loop
If you can’t get the wax off with the cloth alone, use the wax pick/wire loop in your cleaning kit. If you don’t have a cleaning kit, you can purchase one at Topeka ENT or at Topeka Pharmacy. Be gentle with these tools, especially around the speaker and microphone port.
3. Clean or Replace Wax Guards
Some styles of devices have built-in wax guards that need to be replaced on occasion. Check your wax guard for obvious signs of debris, and replace the guard if necessary.
4. Remove and Clean any Tubing
If you wear a behind-the-ear hearing aid, you may need to clean the tubing from time to time. After removing the tubing, you can clear the blockages with an air blower or thin, flexible wire. If the blockage is big or you can’t get it out, take it to your audiologist to be replaced.
Earwax Blockages in Your Ears
Sometimes the earwax blockage isn’t in your hearing aids – it’s in your ears.
To soften impacted earwax, you can use eardrops from the drugstore or a few drops of baby oil, mineral oil, glycerin or diluted hydrogen peroxide. (Note: Don’t use eardrops if you suspect you have an ear infection).
After the wax has had the chance to soften, about 24 to 48 hours, use a rubber bulb syringe or stand with your ear in the shower stream to irrigate the ear canals. Afterward, gently dry the ear canal with a towel.
If this doesn’t work to remove the earwax, visit a Topeka ENT physician to have your ears cleaned professionally.
Never try to remove earwax with Q-tips, as this can push the wax in further.
For more tips for removing earwax from your hearing aids or your ears, call Topeka ENT today!