While there are many different types of hearing aid brands, you'll need a comprehensive examination by your audiologist to determine which one is right for you. Not only will the extent of your hearing deficit determine the best device for you, but so might your current and past medical histories, as well as the medications you are currently taking. These factors all play roles in how effective your hearing aid is. Here are three things that may hinder the effectiveness of your hearing aid and what you can do about them:
Allergies not only cause runny nose, nasal congestion, watery eyes, and sneezing, but they can also lead to inflammation of your middle and inner ear, as well as your eardrum. When this occurs, your hearing may be muffled, causing your hearing aid to lose some of its effectiveness.
In addition to hearing deficits, chronic allergic conditions can also lead to swelling inside your ear canal, which can result in ill-fitting hearing aids. Taking over-the-counter antihistamines and anti-inflammatory medication can help relieve allergy-related ear symptoms and swelling of the ear structure so that your hearing aid can function at an optimal level.
While taking an occasional aspirin may not affect your ears, regular consumption of aspirin may lead to problems. If you take an aspirin everyday to help reduce your risk for heart attack or stroke, or if you take daily aspirin for chronic pain, you may develop hearing loss or tinnitus, which refers to ringing, buzzing, swooshing, or clicking sounds inside your ears.
If you develop tinnitus as a result of aspirin use, talk to your doctor about other ways to manage your chronic pain. If, however, you take aspirin to prevent a cardiac event, do not stop taking it abruptly. Doing so may raise your risk for a dangerous heart arrhythmia or blood clot. You may not have to discontinue your aspirin therapy completely, however, because lowering the dosage can sometimes help improve symptoms of tinnitus.
Ear dermatitis refers to the inflammation of the dermal layer of the skin in and around your ear. It can be caused by an allergic reaction to soap or shampoo, chlorine from a swimming pool, allergies, or certain medications. In severe cases, dermatitis can lead to intense itching, scaling of the ear canal, bleeding, and infection.
If you develop dermatitis of the ear, your audiologist may suggest that you refrain from wearing your hearing device until the condition subsides. Keeping your ears clean and dry can help promote healing; however, if your dermatitis persists, see your doctor. Your condition may be caused by a bacterial or fungal infection that will need treatment in order for your symptoms to resolve.
If you suffer from chronic allergies or dermatitis, or if you take aspirin on a daily basis, talk to your audiologist from a clinic like Audiology Consultants, P.C. about ways to help prevent problems with your hearing aid. When problems are recognized and addressed quickly, you are more likely to enjoy the benefits of your hearing aid.