Along with hearing challenges, a loss of hair where it used to be and an abundance of hair where it shouldn’t be are common issues associated with aging.

It may be an uncomfortable topic for some men, but it is one that needs to be addressed because excess ear hair can impact the performance of your hearing aids.

Some Facts About Ear Hair

Health Jade informs us that there are two different types of ear hairs found in and around the ear:

Vellus hairs—Often described as “peach fuzz,” these hairs grow on the very outer portion of the ear and are typically non-pigmented. However, as you age, they can begin to grow longer and thicker.

Tragi hairs—The larger, thicker, and stiff terminal hairs that take their name from the Latin tragos, meaning “goat”—likening them to a goat’s beard—become prominent in the outer portion of the ear canal more often in men than women.

Ear hair is part of a natural filtering process that helps protect the ear canal from dust and debris as well as impedes insects from entering the ear.

Excessive Ear Hair Can Lead to Hearing Aid Fitting and Performance Challenges

Most of the fitting and performance problems associated with hearing aids are caused by excessive growth of the coarse tragi hairs around the outer ear canal. They can cause problems with your hearing aids in four different ways, including:

Problems With Ear Impressions:

To make custom earmolds, your audiologist has to take an impression of your outer ear canal. Unless they are trimmed away from the outer ear canal, tragi hairs can affect the accuracy of the ear impression.

In-the-Ear Hearing Aids Falling Out:

If you wear in-the-ear (ITE) or in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids, you may discover that they feel like they are falling out all of the time. The reason could be because those thick tragi hairs are pushing against them, preventing a snug fit.

Poor Acoustical Seal:

For your hearing aids to provide the best possible sound clarity, regardless of type or style, they must be able to achieve a proper acoustical seal. Those thick hairs can lead to a poor acoustical seal and limit performance.

Earwax Buildup:

While ear hair and earwax work together to keep your ears clean and healthy, excess ear hair in the outer ear canal can prevent earwax from working its way out of your ear canal. Built-up or impacted earwax also decreases hearing aid performance and can cause aids to malfunction.

Dealing With Ear Hair

If you are one of those men who produces excessive ear hair and you wear hearing aids,

keeping it under control is a critical part of getting the best possible benefits from your hearing aids. Here are a few tips for dealing with ear hair.

Tip #1—Don’t Use:

Avoid scissors with a pointed tip, nail clippers, or wax when attempting to remove ear hairs, and don’t pluck them out with tweezers.

Tip #2—Use:

Round tipped scissors or ear/nose hair trimmers are your best option for removing excess ear hair. You may need someone to help you, because seeing into your own ears to do an effective job is difficult.

Tip #3—Consider:

Laser removal is a permanent solution to consider if you continue to struggle with excessive ear hair growth. The procedure is safe and painless when performed by a licensed professional, and it may be money well invested.

We Can Help Enhance the Performance of Your Hearing Aids

If you’re not getting the best performance from your hearing aids, then you’re missing out on the many benefits they provide. Whether due to excessive ear hair, earwax, moisture, or other conditions, our hearing care specialists at Physicians Hearing Care are here to help.

Use this link to contact us today or call us at the PHC location nearest you. Our hearing care experts want to ensure that you’re able to hear the things you love! If you live in or near:

Knoxville – Park West, call (865) 693-6065 ext. 125
Knoxville – Fort Sanders, call (865) 693-6065 ext. 280
Lenoir City, call (865) 292-3560
Loudon – Tellico Village, call (865) 693-6065 ext. 270
Morristown call (423) 585-7438

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Dr. Kalyn Bradford Au.D.

Dr. Kalyn Bradford is the director of hearing aid services here at Physician's Hearing Care. She completed her externship with Physician's Hearing Care in 2013 and subsequently joined the practice in 2014 after graduating with her doctoral degree in audiology from Louisiana Tech University. She joined PHC as a clinical audiologist, where she performed comprehensive audiological exams and specialized in helping patients to hear better using the latest hearing aid technology available. She has carried that experience into her current role as director of hearing aid services, where she does an excellent job managing the audiologists to ensure that all patients are treated with the best hearing care possible.