Occasionally a hearing aid patient will ask about severely itchy ears and what they can do to stop the itch or prevent further irritation. Sometimes it is a simple issue of hygiene and can be solved by keeping instruments that go in the ear clean. And don’t forget to keep your hands cleans too. Often the germs that end up causing ear infections and other ear conditions come from dirty hands.

This article is all about cleaning your Earmolds. If you are not sure you have an earmold do not use these instructions. There are separate instructions for the cleaning of hearing aids.

The best way to keep earmolds clean is to wash and disinfect them. It is very important that you do not wash the hearing aid when cleaning your earmolds. The hearing aid and earmold disconnect (so long as they have been well maintained) and you can wash the earmold under warm soapy water. You will need to dry the earmold completely and use an earmold blower to remove moisture from the tube before you reconnect it to the hearing aid.

When you don’t have time to wash the mold, you can use non-alcoholic disinfectant wipes. This can be obtained through your audiologist. You never want to use peroxide, alcohol or antibiotic ointment on your molds or in your ears. Do not put anything in your ears unless it has been sold to you by a professional (or prescribed by a doctor).

If your ears are reacting severely with pus or crustiness, you should see an Ear-Nose-& Throat Physician (ENT), Dermatologist or other medical doctor. These symptoms may indicate an infection and may require special medications. An allergic reaction to products or the earmold is another possibility. You could also have an infection of the outer ear or you could have a middle ear infection that is draining. Regardless of what it is, it should be looked at.

Sometimes moisture can cause itchiness problems. Sweating in and around the ear can be uncomfortable for hearing aid wearers and is a common reason for hearing aid repairs. Consider a hearing aid dryer to remove moisture and protect your hearing aids and if you are sweating a lot you may need to remove your hearing aids for more strenuous activities, wear a sweat band or protective cover over your hearing instrument.

All products mentioned in this article are available at the HearWell Center.