At their first follow-up visit, a number of first time hearing aid wearers complain that hearing aids make their ear canals feel itchy. Many of these users grow accustomed to their hearing aids and the itching sensation subsides over time. But in other cases, this irritation can be due to other factors.

Why so itchy?

Your ear canal has very delicate skin and even a hair in the wrong place can cause itchiness and irritation. To find out how to wear your hearing aids without itching, you must first find out what is causing the itchiness.

Skin conditions

Hearing aids can cause conditions like eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis to flare up in the ears. For treatment you may need to visit a doctor, or simply apply the usual medications.

Allergic reactions

While rare, it may be that your ear is reacting to the material that your custom earmold is made from. In this instance you should look into getting it remade with hypoallergenic material such as medical grade silicone, which you may be less likely to react to.

Poorly fitted earmolds

It could be that your earmold is too tight and needs to be remade to fit better. When the earmold is too tight it can stop your ear canal from breathing properly and result in a buildup of moisture, which can lead to infection and itchiness.

Poorly fitted ear buds

For wearers of open-fit hearing aids, the little rubber dome that sits in the ear canal may be the wrong size and could be tickling the fine hairs, which are not used to being touched. Whether it’s a thin tube or receiver-in-the-ear style, we are dealing with non-customised fitting and limited tube/receiver lengths and dome sizes to select from. It follows that the fit cannot be perfect in all cases. If you’re experiencing irritation from the dome, you may need to consult your audiologist about getting a new rubber dome tip that fits better if persists. If the fitting is good, but there’s still an issue, you may need to investigate the use of a lubricant. And finally a customised earmold will solve the problems of itching due to an ill fit.

Bacterial growth

Moisture buildup on the shell of a custom hearing aid can lead to bacterial growth that can irritate your ears. So it’s a good idea to buy a hearing aid dryer with a UV light to kill bacteria. Not only will this prolong the life of your device but it will also protect the health of your inner ears.

Keep your ears dry

t’s no secret, but keeping your ears free from moisture is really one of the best paths to inner ear health. You should also avoid cleaning your ears to excess as the natural oils in your ears actually aid ear health by providing a protective layer of keratin which guards against cracks and infection.

Additionally, there are a few over-the-counter treatments you can get to solve your itching, and a few drops of baby oil in your ear at bedtime is a very good way of keeping your ears healthy, protected and lubricated.