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Here at ADCO we receive phone calls every day from hearing aid users who are struggling to adjust to new aids or discomfort associated with changes in the seasons, body chemistry and a number of other situations. First, know you are NOT alone! It’s easy (and wonderful) to be so excited about the freedom that hearing aids provide, and sometimes that excitement doesn’t prompt us to stop and think about any sort of adjustment period. The good news is two-fold: This is both normal and temporary, and there are many products designed specifically for the issues you are experiencing to make this period a bit easier.
Our team is trained in helping our customers navigate these problems, and while everyone is a little different, this guide summarizes the problems and solutions that we see most often. If you don’t see your exact situation here, please know that does not mean there isn’t a solution for you, and we encourage you to give us a call to discuss your individual needs so we can assist you in finding the perfect product to alleviate your discomfort.
Problem: Your external ear (the “bowl shaped” part) hurts due to the new addition of an earmold
Why this is happening: Your earmold is actually unique to your ear, as you likely recall your Audiologist performing an impression of your ear. However, your external ear is soft tissue and very thin skin. Although the earmold is not actually rock-hard, it may feel like it is right now. This is because that tissue has never had anything rubbing against it constantly. While it IS possible that you have a hot-spot or a small section on the earmold that needs to be filed down slightly (which needs to be addressed with your audiologist), most of the time this is just a matter of acclimating.
Solution: We recommend using a lubricant to create a thin barrier between the earmold and the skin. This prevents chaffing, keeps the skin moist and, depending on the product you choose, can provide a lot of protection for your ear. Our best-selling and top-recommended product for this issue is Miracell (plus it has the added bonus of providing itch relief!).
Problem: Your ear is itching, either on the external ear, the entry to your ear canal, or behind your ear.
Why this is happening: Itching is usually associated with bacteria building up. Before you scoff, remember that bacteria on the human body is natural and this likely isn’t a matter of your hygiene habits. However, adding a new device to your body does require that you add new steps to keep that device clean (and bacteria free). Dirt and sweat can also contribute to itching, both of which will be tackled with our recommended solution as well.
Solution: First, let’s discuss the root cause. If your hearing aid is dirty this problem will not go away. It’s VERY important that you keep your hearing aids (including the tubes, domes, and all other parts) clean and bacteria free. If the device is dirty, it won’t matter what you put on your body to alleviate the itch – it will come back. Most of our customers have behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids with a tube that goes up over your ear and a dome (a small rubber piece) that goes inside your ear. If this is you, we recommend the PerfectClean to help keep your hearing aids in tip-top shape. This device does the cleaning for you so you don’t have to deal with it (plus the UV-C lights kill all the bacteria!).
Now, let’s assume your hearing aids are squeaky clean. That itch is awful and can be a deterrent from actually wanting to use your hearing aids at all. The Audiologists’ Choice Anti-Itch Cream is intended for use on itchy ears and can offer instant relief. Once the intense itch has been tackled, keeping a bottle of Miracell on hand is a great idea, as this product provides many benefits for hearing aid users (including itch relief).
Problem: The skin behind your ear hurts, either due to pressure or rubbing from your new behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid
Why this is happening: Much like your external ear, the area behind your ear is extremely sensitive. This skin is very thin, and there isn’t any fat there to provide cushioning, so the hearing aid likely feels like it’s putting pressure directly into your bone. Rest assured that this will go away in time, however, the movement of the hearing aid does bother many hearing aid users so the solutions that exist for your immediate need may be a long-term solution for you as well.
Solution: The Hearing Aid Grip is a small plus-shaped pad that provides cushioning to ease discomfort. The padding provides a barrier between your hearing aid and your skin that will give you the relief you are looking for while the “grip” of this product prevents your hearing aid from moving around which many users appreciate on a permanent basis. Once you are acclimated to your aids, if you are looking for alternatives to behind-the-ear adhesives, our two best-selling options include the 3M Contour Strips for adults, or the Stick n’ Stay adhesives for children.
We certainly hope that this guide has provided some answers for you as you navigate life with hearing aids. Keep in mind that these problems are very common, and often go away in a short period of time. Learning how to care for both your ears and your hearing aids is an important part of hearing healthcare, and the team here at ADCO is always available to assist you in finding solutions for the challenges you are facing. Please feel free to call us at 800-726-0851 or email email@example.com with any questions you may have.