R.e.d. 2008-02-01 13:16:05
Shortly after being fitted with digital ITC aids for mild
to moderate hearing loss, I (Caucasion male, early 60’s)
started experiencing sores and itching in my ears.
It’s sufficiently unpleasant that I now don’t wear the aids
unless it’s really necessary.
Ear-nose-throat MD’s have alternately said it’s due to:
poorly fitting aids
dryness (recommended baby oil, said Oto Ease is ok)
fungal infection – recommended Lotrimin.
The audiologist says that it’s due to the change in
environment in the ear. He thinks it’s fungal rather
than bacterial. He says it’s a difficult problem, meaning
he doesn’t know what to recommend.
I’ve received a cortisone cream prescription, which seems
to clear things up in a few days, but it comes back if I wear the aids.
I tried three weeks of twice-daily Lamisil
(which a few years ago cleared up athlete’s foot for me
when Lotrimin didn’t). No apparent effect.
I also tried swabbing my ears and the aids nightly
with a solution of half alcohol (anti-bacterial) and
half vinegar (anti-fungal, I suppose). The problem reappeared
after about a week of wearing the aids maybe 4-6 hours/day.
A web search turned up
A) “Dry and Store,” an electrical appliance to disinfect and
dry aids for approx. $100. They say it’s bacterial infection
which causes itching and sores. Does it work? If so, why
didn’t the alcohol/vinegar swabbing work?
I’ve not tried either of these yet.
Can anyone help?
Reply to “red99” (not “rednospam99”) @mindspring.com
Rnf2 2008-02-01 13:16:30
Aftertaking up diving, I got a sore ear in the left ear, the one that
doesn’t have a HA, cause was diagonosed as Fungal or bacterial infection,
got prescribed a ear drop bottle and advised to use a commerical barrier
liquid before and after diving, also occasionally at other times.
Ear drops are Sofradex, barrier solution is Vosol.
Sofradex contains Framycetin Sulfate BP, Dexamethasone, Gramicidin and
Phenylethanol. in a sterile carrier solution. Maybe a GP could tell you what
Vosol is Glycol and Acetic acid, a dryer and a fungicide.
worked fine. the sofradex killed t off to begin with, and the vosol so far
has stopped it coming back, when I stopped using the vosol for a while,
after a few dives I got the infection again, so another round of sofradex
and back to using the vosol pre and post dive.
Rod 2008-02-01 13:16:53
A similar thing happened to me. I was swimming at the local pool (after a
few years absence) and foolishly didn’t wear any ear plugs after swimming
“laps” and developed “swimmers ear”.
Was prescribed some ear drops (forgot the name) from the Eye and Ear
hospital. Those ear drops didn’t work and my (right side ear) infection got
worse. The doctor cleaned the “debris” (very important apparently) from my
ear with a suction tube type thing and prescribed “Locacorten Vioform” which
relieved the itching straight away and got rid of the infection (after about
1 week). A review trip to the ear doc and more “debris cleaning” the ear was
However despite following the Doctors instructions on not getting my ear wet
from a shower etc, (“Blu Tac” does a good job on keeping the water out) and
cleaning my HA with an alcohol swipe etc, the infection came back. Also my
left ear got infected as well.
It appeared that I was getting re-infected from the hearing aids. Perhaps
wiping the HA does not do the job on removing the tiny fungal spores from
the tiny crevices of the ITE HA mould.
Anyway, I bought a Dry’n’Store (about $300.00 here in Australia) and it
seems to be doing the job.
The infection hasn’t returned for about 4 months now.
So my tips are..
See an ENT doctor. He/She should clean the debris out of your ear and
prescribe you decent ear drops.
Keep your ear canal dry at all times. “Blu Tac” or Cotton wool with baby oil
while having a shower etc. Have your Audi make some custom ear plugs for
you. (make sure you store it in the Dry’n”Store though, not in the
Yes buy Dry’n’Store and use it for the germicidal lamp and for keeping your
HA dry (and warm!).
Kkerrison 2008-02-04 23:04:52
I remember my first audiologist told me that, where any infection etc
was present in the ear canal, you simply ceased using the aid
completely until the problem had cleared up. It may seem an obvious
point but, in her experience, it wasn’t.
Ken 2008-02-04 23:05:10
I have had problems similar to yours but not as severe. I use the Dry N
Store and have done so for about 4 or 5 years. It works well. I just open
the battery compartment and leave the battery in the holder and also place
my other piece of my BiCros fiting there too (microphone) and it works
great. It has a germicidical lamp that kills bacteria, etc and the unit is
automatic, running ro 8 hours at night. It has eased my itching problem to
where I don’t have one.
Jdsims1911 2008-02-06 05:21:43
My son wears hearing aids , he also has a problem with itching and
getting sores often. His doctor recommends, Eargene its soothing ear
lotion it helps with itching.He also gets a perscription for bactroban
antibiotic cream for
the sores.He is very active and he sweats alot, the dr. said this was
part of the problem. Sweating and wearing an earmold, if the ear
doesnt get dryed out it will set up bacteria and fungial problems. My
Dr. also says to swab a little vegetable oil around in his ear at
night, for some natural moisture.