Excess Ear Hair Affecting the Performance of Your Hearing Aids? | A Frank Discussion for Gentlemen

by | Apr 15, 2024 | Hearing Aids, Hearing Loss, Patient Resources

Gentlemen, it’s time for a candid chat about a topic that might make some of us a bit uncomfortable: excess ear hair and its impact on hearing aid performance. 

As we age, we often experience the paradox of losing hair where we want it and finding it in places we don’t, such as our ears. 

This excess ear hair, particularly for hearing aid users, is not just a cosmetic issue but can significantly affect the functionality of hearing aids. 

Ear Hair: The Good, the Bad, and the Hairy 

Ear hair serves an essential purpose, acting as a natural defender against dust, debris, and insects attempting to make their way into our ear canals. 

However, when this hair becomes excessive, especially the stiffer, thicker tragi hairs named for their resemblance to a goat’s beard, it can lead to several issues with hearing aid performance. 

The Impact of Excess Ear Hair on Hearing Aids 

Excessive ear hair can interfere with hearing aids in several ways: 

1. Avoid Cotton Swabs:

It’s tempting to use cotton swabs to clean the ear canal, but this practice can push wax deeper into the ear, leading to impaction or damage to the ear’s delicate structures. Instead, focus on cleaning the outer ear gently with a damp cloth.

2. Consider Over-the-Counter Solutions:

Earwax removal drops from your local pharmacy can safely soften and remove excessive earwax. These solutions typically contain ingredients like mineral oil, hydrogen peroxide, or saline, designed to gently dissolve the wax.

3. Acoustical Seal:

For optimal hearing aid performance, a proper acoustical seal is crucial. Excess hair can prevent earmolds from achieving this seal. 

4. Earwax Buildup:

Additionally, excessive ear hair can hinder earwax from naturally exiting the ear canal, leading to buildup and decreased hearing aid performance. 

Managing Excess Ear Hair for Better Hearing Aid Performance 

Managing excess ear hair is key to maximizing your hearing aids’ effectiveness. Here are some safe methods to keep ear hair in check: 

Avoid Risky Tools:

Stay clear of pointy scissors and nail clippers, and never pluck ear hairs. These methods can lead to injuries or infections. 

Use the Right Tools:

Round-tipped scissors or specialized ear/nose trimmers are your best bet for safe removal. 

Seek Professional Help:

For those finding it challenging to manage on their own, permanent laser hair removal offers a safe and long-term solution. 

Enhancing Your Hearing Aid Experience 

With over 25 years of service to the Houston community, we’re not just about addressing hearing loss; we’re here to ensure your hearing aids provide the maximum benefit, which includes managing factors like excessive ear hair.

If your hearing aids aren’t performing as expected, it might be time for a checkup, and we’re here to help. 

Don’t let something like excess ear hair diminish the quality of life hearing aids can provide. Contact us at our Houston clinic at (713) 827-1767 to schedule an appointment today.

Let’s ensure your hearing aids are working for you in every possible way. 

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Jana Emola-Austin, Au.D.

Raised in Bryan, Texas, Jana completed her undergraduate studies at Texas A&M University before attending the University of North Texas with an ambition to earn her master’s degree in speech pathology. However, a required audiology class soon set her on a new career path. She became enthralled with the subject and says audiology resonated with her because it involved everything she enjoys – helping people to improve their lives and relationships with others and using technology to make positive impacts. Following this revelation, Jana went on to graduate with her Doctor of Audiology degree. After many years of assisting patients in the clinic on a daily basis, Jana’s main responsibilities at Allison Audiology have shifted to a management role. She now works behind the scenes focusing on administrative, management, and marketing responsibilities.