Hearings aids cause sore throat

I have purchased hearing aids for the first time. I went through my local Costco. The service was excellent, the equipment and thoroughness of exams was wonderful. I was fitted with Resound Forza units. I wore them for 2 weeks with little problems. Then I came down with a sore throat and chest congestion. I thought it was a cold but I stopped wearing the aids and it went away quickly. I wore the aids again for a day and the sore throat came back. It seemed some how related to the aids. I stopped wearing them for a few more days and the congestion and sore throat went away. I tried them again and the sore throat, runny nose and chest congestion came back. I have tried this cycle many times now and the hearing aids cause the problem. The audiologist is not aware of this happening to others and consulted other audiologists and found no similar stories. We thought maybe the domes were irritating my inner ear. I have a small ear canal and the smallest dome installed. I have even tried without the hypoallergenic dome and I still get the sore throat, headache etc. The only thing somewhat related I have found in internet searches is a problem some people have with amplification in the inner ear causing discomfort.
Does anyone have any ideas on this? The aids really do help me to hear better but I get sick after a short time wearing them now. I have no known allergies. I do live in a rural area and am exposed to pollen a lot and I work with woodworking and milling equipment so I am exposed to somewhat dusty conditions. I don’t think this is significant but I mention it in case. I don’t know if the aids block movement through my ear, nose, throat somehow that cause problems.
Thanks for any ideas and experiences.

The dome may be hitting your Vagus nerve and causing the sensation of a sore throat and other symptoms. Someone on this Forum several years ago had the same problem and I believe it was solved by getting a custom earmold. Hitting the nerve can also cause you to cough and feeling you have an upset stomach.

I’d go with that, sounds like a referred symptoms problem where one branch of the VIIIth nerve responds to a stimulus on another branch. I’ve had people refer to toothache as ear canal pain too, so the action certainly works on other neural paths.

There may be a way that the OP can be coached into cognitively disassociating the action from the (reflex) response. Especially if you really understand the process and are able to take an obvious remedial action (different moulds) that you have ‘faith’ in.

Thank you both for your responses. I have been wearing the HA for 5 days now and mostly doing OK. I have been doing the exercises to reduce the effects of the vagus nerve and it seems to help. I need more time to see if I can last. I have had no real sore throat but just mild discomfort at times. Moist ear conditions seem to increase problems, so I am very careful to let my ears dry thoroughly after showering before wearing the HAs again.
I may go to the custom molds in the future but it will still be inserted into my ear so I am concerned it will be the same outcome.

Thanks Again.

The custom molds would probably be better since it would keep the Tube or RIC in one place all the time.

I just got my first set of HA’s 5 days ago and I’m constantly clearing my throat. Anyway that’s my experience so far. :smiley:

What kind of HA’s are they? You also might be hitting your Vagus nerve which is giving you the sensation that something is in your throat.

they are Xino i90 micro RIC 312

the receiver could be hitting your nerve, a micro mold might solve the problem, talk to your audi.

Right on I go back in a week. We’ll see if it persists, thanks Seb

do you clean whatever part of the aid that touches your ear canal with an alcohol swab?

I have been berated for suggesting doing this as the ear molds or disposable buds that goes into your ears will become discolored if you do this. but doing so stopped my issues with persistent ear infection I had when I was younger.

Also I am embarrassed to write that when I was a kid I used to clean my hearing aid by sucking on the tip that goes into my ear. Thought it would improve performance by removing wax. But then I learned that ear wax is the body way of capturing bacteria and is probably the last thing you want in your mouth. Once I stop sucking on my aids my throat problems went away.

I doubt if any of this will help you but the cleaning the aid with alcohol is probably something you want to start doing.

I am still surprised that it’s common industry practice to dispense HA costing thousands and not provide the user with custom fit domes that probably wouldn’t add $100 to the overall cost. Ear canals vary in size more than feet. No one would buy shoes without a custom fit - and if I were spending $4K on a pair of shoes, I would have them handcrafted to my feet size, which, like most people vary somewhat in size between left and right.