While hearing aids have a long list of benefits for the hearing impaired, these devices can contribute to the occurrence of ear infections. An ear infection occurs when there is a build-up of fluid in the middle ear, the section of your ear behind the eardrum, causing a bacterial and viral infection. Common causes of ear infections are the common cold, flu, and water activities. Because hearing aids close up the ear, ear infections are able to spread more easily in hearing aid wearers.
Although wearing hearing aids can be a cause of ear infections, the devices are also affected by the infection. Signs of an ear infection include pain and swelling. Since hearing aids are custom fitted to the wearer’s ears, swelling caused by an infection may lead to an improper fit. If the hearing aids do not fit properly, they can cause discomfort and irritation. It also effects the quality in which you hear and briefly changes the acoustics in your ear.
Ear infections may not be predictable, but there are ways to lower the risk and avoid them while wearing hearing aids.
- Clean hearings aids weekly to eliminate bacteria
- Remove hearing aids when possible to allow ears to breathe
- Keep ears as dry as possible and dry thoroughly after engaging in water activities
- Keep hearing aids away from moisture as much as possible
- Follow proper maintenance routines for hearing aids as provided by your audiologist
If you are experiencing ear infections or having issues with your hearing aid that can lead to an infection, it is important to follow the directions given to avoid further issues. If you have any questions regarding ear infections and hearing aids please call New Generation Hearing Centers for a free consultation.