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How ear wax removal can improve the function of hearing aids

Posted on October 14, 2014

Hearing aids can effect the natural self-cleaning process of the external ear.

Ballachanda’s publication on ‘Theoretical and Applied External Ear Acoustics’ noted that cerumen impaction can alter the hearing aids performance.  Interestingly, irrespective of the type of aid being worn, cerumen impaction can reduce the intensity of sound reaching the tympanic membrane by as much as 10 to 15 dB in the mid to high frequencies. In addition to this, partial impaction can change the resonance properties of the ear canal, reducing mid to high frequency perception.

Current estimates from various hearing aid manufacturers indicate that 60% to 70% of all hearing aids sent for repair are damaged as a result of contact with cerumen. Source

If you are a hearing aid user and wonder if earwax is affecting the function of your hearing aids we recommend:

– Consult your audiologist for an ear examination and diagnosis of wax impaction

– If visiting your local doctor ask them to examine the ear for wax impaction


Ear Canal with ear wax blockage


If wax impaction is diagnosed, cerumen removal may be beneficial to:

– Eliminate feedback when feedback is due to excess cerumen

– Ensure sound intensity does not alter due to wax

– Prevent hearing aid dysfunction and associated repair costs

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