Effects of Excess Ear Hair on Hearing Aids | A Discussion for Men

Although it’s an uncomfortable subject, it needs to be addressed, because excess ear hair can have a negative impact on the performance of your hearing aids.

Hearing loss is often an unfortunate side effect of growing older, but it’s not the only potential change in our bodies. Hair loss is another unpleasant side effect that often accompanies the aging process—especially for men. But while the hair on your head may thin, it’s common to notice an abundance of hair in other places, namely your ears. 

Although it’s an uncomfortable subject, it needs to be addressed, because excess ear hair can have a negative impact on the performance of your hearing aids. 

Why Do We Have Ear Hair? 

First of all, know that having ear hair is completely normal. Along with earwax, ear hair serves the important function of preventing germs, bacteria, and debris from getting inside your inner ear. However, you can have too much of a good thing. 

There are two different types of ear hairs—vellus hairs and tragi hairs. Vellus hairs are “peach fuzz”-like and grow on the very outer portion of the ear and lobes. Vellus hairs are mostly non-pigmented and difficult to notice. However, as you age, vellus hairs can begin to grow longer and thicker. According to Scientific American, one reason that it’s common for men to notice more ear hair later in life is because the hair follicles become more sensitive to their testosterone levels. 

Tragi hairs are thicker and darker than vellus hairs. They are the wiry hairs that you may see sprouting from the outer portion of your ear canal. While tragi hairs do protect your ears, thick tragi hairs in and around the outer ear canal can cause several hearing health issues. 

How Excessive Ear Hair Impacts Hearing Aid Fit and Performance 

When thick tragi hairs become excessive, they can cause fitting and performance issues for your hearing aids in four different ways: 

Inaccurate ear impressions:

Before making custom earmolds, your audiologist will take an impression of your outer ear canal. Tragi hairs must be trimmed, or you could end up with an inaccurate impression. 

Hearing aid fit issues:

Thick tragi hair pushes against your hearing devices, preventing them from fitting properly. They may feel like they’re going to fall out of your ears. 

Poor acoustical seal:

Excessive ear hair can also prevent your earmolds from achieving the proper acoustical seal, which is essential to hearing aid performance. 

Earwax buildup:

Excessive ear hair in the outer ear canal may prevent earwax from working its way out of your ear canal, causing earwax buildup that decreases hearing aid performance. 

How to Get Rid of Excessive Ear Hair  

Since excessive ear hair can negatively impact the performance of your hearing aids, it’s important to keep it under control. You can easily take care of excessive ear hair at home with a trimmer. Avoid using scissors with a pointed tip or nail clippers. You may need to ask for assistance from a loved one, because seeing inside your ears can be tricky. 

You can also visit a salon for a wax session, but keep in mind that this method may be painful! 

If you’re struggling to keep ahead of ear hair growth using these methods, permanent laser hair removal is an option. It is safe and painless when performed by a licensed professional and may be money well invested. 

Hearing Aid Help in Moses Lake, Omak, and Ellensburg 

If you’re not getting the most out of your hearing aids, then you’re missing out on many of the benefits they provide. Whether you’re in need of a hearing aid repair due to excessive ear hair, earwax, moisture, or other conditions, we’re here to help you. 

Contact us for more information or to schedule a consultation today! 

Hearing Aids and Ear Hair

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Dan Morehouse, HIS

As a hearing instrument specialist and owner of Inland Hearing Aids, Inc., Dan Morehouse has spent more than 20 years earning the trust of physicians, community organizations, and thousands of residents through providing top-level hearing care to Moses Lake and nearby communities.

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