Bacteria in my ear


So my ears started hurting and even though I went to an ENT about 4 weeks and got wax removed before starting using HAs, both ears have the eardrum coated, and my Internist says that my hearing aids have set up bacteria.

So what do I need do be doing as a cleaning,regimen? I wipe them off and put them in the ?infrared? cleaning box. Thanks. It is puzzling to be to have wax build up so soon. I usually get the right ear cleaned about every 3 years and have never had wax on the left.


Your hearing aids sit in your ears all day; a place that is dark and moist, and a perfect breeding ground for fungus and bacteria. Some of the bacteria that can grow on a hearing aid can cause irritation in the lining of your ear canal.

Cleaning your hearing aids with a cloth is not enough to get rid of all the germs and bacteria. Alcohol pads will ruin the surface of your hearing aids, so it’s best to use non-alcohol based disinfectant wipes or spray using a clean cloth. Ask your audiologist to recommend their preferred brand.

To properly clean your hearing aids, follow these simple steps every night:

Thoroughly wash and dry your hands before removing your hearing aids.

Wipe your hearing aids with a clean, dry tissue.

Disinfect the surfaces of your hearing aids with a non-alcohol based disinfectant towelette.

Use a hearing aid dryer with UV lamp to remove moisture and kill bacteria on the earmold.


Thanks a bunch! Now to find those towelettes. I am not sure that I got this good instruction when I purchased them.



I suggest you get a bottle with an eyedropper, fill it with Hydrogen Peroxide 3% [CVS]. I put a dropper in each ear every week or two. I haven’t had any wax problem for years.


Just some general comments. I’m not sure what’s going on with the OPs ears, but everybody’s ears have bacteria in them. Humans are loaded with bacteria. We are just beginning to understand the interaction between the types of colonies of bacterias that reside on us and health. The solution is not trying to eradicate bacteria.


The ENT who coordinated my cancer treatment suggested olive oil to remove ear wax, followed by a bulb syringe with warm water rinse. It helped my mouth dryness and inflammation during radiation treatment as well.


I agree with you to some extent. For instance the gut has a lot going on there and that is good. But pain tells you the body is not happy about something - so that is where I am. Thanks–


I fully agree that pain is something to be dealt with. I would tend to think of the solution as being trying to create an environment that is not conducive to growth of the bacteria rather than eradicating them


So I’m looking at tyhe Kapak ultra violet c disinfecting/drying thingamabob and it’s “only” $44.00. It gets to 112 degrees. Hmm…that seems a bit high? Gets good reviews though. any thoughts/suggestions on another brand etc?

p.s. I’ve had a lot of surgeries and my middle ear is pretty exposed. I’ve been advised to be leery of putting liquids in my ear canal–and water has been taboo all my life (Those syringe style wax removers might remove my cochlea as well). so know your anatomy before pouring stuff in your ears!


I know nothing about Kapak.
I use Perfect Dry LUX. It costs about $20 more on Amazon with good reviews. I believe the unit gets to temperatures of 113 degrees. I am not certain that I was using the unit properly.
All the best.


I have had an ear infection for two weeks, caused by the recent heatwave in the UK. The second lot of antibiotics do not seem to be working, as I still have earache and itching in my ear. I cant use my hearing aid that side, and the other is not much use on its own. Another doctors appointment is not far off, but I wonder what the next move will be?


I can relate to that. I was puzzled that I did not get antibiotics from my new Internist. He had me get the OTC Debrox to dissolve wax build-up with instructions to come back to him in a few days if it did not clear up. I was skeptical, but by the next day, pain was greatly reduced. Today I just have a hint of discomfort. Perhaps I can get back into my HAs tomorrow. It has been very hot here as well. All the best.


Is that a dropper full?


I use a Full dropper, sometimes 2. It will never do any harm. If you get water in your ear which is sometimes painful I use a eyedropper bottle filled with 1/2 white vinegar & 1/2 vodka. It works better than OTC stuff and is much cheaper. Both these formulas were given to me by an ENT when I did a lot of scuba diving.


Hi Ruthie.

Good for you! My ear is itching, which supposed to mean its getting better. Its driving me nuts!!
Only a day and a half of antibiotics left, so they are going to have to work some magic…


If you have bacteria in your ears, ask your ENT for a prescription for pharmaceutical grade acetic acid. Works wonders. Cannot be used if you have a hole in your eardrum. Mine finally sealed itself off after many years.

I too used hydrogen peroxide, but doc doesn’t recommend it for me anyway. Probably something to do with the ear eczema.


October 1st, I saw a nurse for my emergency appointment at the hospital. The appointment was made three weeks before. By this time, fortunately the infection had gone, and it was just a case of cleaning the canal.

It had been almost two months of only wearing the left aid for short periods. Two weeks on, and my hearing is still very bad. Much worse than it was before the infection, and i`m now wondering if there has been any other damage to my hearing. Or perhaps my brain is taking a long time to adjust.

There has been some very slow improvement in the last few days, but it still has a long way to go. I don`t see how the infection could have affected my inner ear, but that is the only possible cause I can think of.
I would be pleased to know if anyone knows different…


You may have a fluid build-up, related to your infection, behind the eardrum. The fluid can impair your hearing. Usually this will dissipate after an infection has cleared, though it can take awhile. It is possible but less likely you have some more permanent hearing loss related to the infection which damaged the middle ear. That can happen. Let’s hope for the best and see how it goes. Check this out:

"Otitis media [middle ear infection] may be described as acute or chronic. Acute otitis media usually has a rapid onset and a short duration. Chronic otitis media can affect the middle ear for a much longer period of time, a month or more, and has a much higher risk of recurrence. It is also more likely to cause long-term conductive hearing loss (Learn the symptoms, causes and treatments for hearing loss) or damage in the middle ear.

Both types of otitis media can be treated with antibiotics, which help destroy the infection. Any fluids in the middle ear space will dissipate gradually over time once the inflammation and swelling are gone and the Eustachian tube can function properly to ventilate the middle ear space."

from: Learn how middle ear infections can affect hearing ability


I’ve never had wax issues and I’ve worn HAs for 30 years. Up until this year, I’ve never had vents either.