Itchy ears are never pleasant, but they can seem unbearable when you start to wear hearing aids. The sensitive skin and tiny hairs of your ear canal feel like they'll never get used to your new domes or earmolds. What can you do about this?
The good news is, this is an extremely common occurrence and usually goes away by itself once you adjust. During this period, or if it does extend past a few weeks, there are some ways to ease the itch.
WHAT CAUSES ITCHY EARS?
Itchy ears can be caused by a multitude of things, which can be frustrating to pin down. The most common reason behind itchy ears is Seborrheic Dermatitis, a rash that can affect oil producing glands. This is exactly what causes dandruff, and can also occur in your ears, causing flaky, itchy skin. Your risk for this increases with age.
Other common reasons behind itchy ears:
-Allergies, whether seasonal or food
-Eczema or Psoriasis
-Over cleaning your ears (They're made to be self cleaning!)
If you add hearing aids to the mix, these issues can be exacerbated. In addition to this, ill fitting earmolds or domes can prevent your ear canal from breathing, creating further moisture buildup and increasing your risk of infection. Hearing aids also need to be cleaned regularly, as dirty hearing aids are also an infection risk. For these types of issues, it's best to talk to your Audiologist so they can remake your earmolds or give you better fitted domes. Very rarely, some people are allergic to the material the dome or earmold is made of. This can also be changed.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?
The most important thing to remember is don't scratch! Putting your fingers or anything else inside your ears can scratch the delicate skin or your eardrum, which may cause infection.
Antihistamines can help if the reason for your discomfort is due to allergies. If you use a lotion or treatment for a skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis, you can ask your doctor if it's alright to use on your ears as well
Putting a few drops of baby oil, olive oil, or mineral oil in your ears every few days can also help keep them lubricated and moist.
If you find it difficult to keep your ears dry, it may be a good idea to get a drying container to put your hearing aids in at night. This will keep your hearing aids from collecting excess moisture, which also will prolong the life of your hearing aids.
If you notice that your ears are bleeding or swelling, it's important to see your family doctor. Infections are easy to deal with if caught early on, but can cause complications if left untreated for too long.