A wide range of bacteria and fungi have been found to grow on hearing aid surfaces. Some of the germs are consistent with what is normally found in the ear but many germs are unhygienic. With this in mind, hearing aids and earmolds should not be casually placed in purses, pockets, countertops, etc, but rather stored in an appropriate case for later use.
Since the ear is a dark, warm, moist place and the occlusion from hearing aids typically increases ear canal temperature and humidity, bacteria and germs that are not part of your ear’s normal environment can easily grow and thrive on these surfaces potentially irritating the lining of your ear canal, causing itching, redness, swelling, pain, ear odor, and even outer ear infection.
Just like dentures and contacts, it is important to use the correct hygiene routine to clean and disinfect hearing aids and earmolds. Alcohol should not be used for cleaning as it can ruin hearing aids and earmold materials relatively quickly. Instead, we suggest and have available non-alcohol based disinfection solution and disposable wipes.
Another recent technological development implemented in earmold design that we offer is a special antimicrobial, chemically bonded coating which claims to be effective against 99.9% of bacteria and germs.
If you or someone you know suffers from hearing loss, don’t hesitate to give us a call for a free hearing consultation.