Pain from new HA

I’m a first time HA purchaser–as of July 9th. I tried the Oticon Agil and felt that my right ear canal was pricked whenever I put pressure on that ear by either lying down on my right side or by wearing earphones over the HAs. It was as if there was a thorn on the right dome. The left was unaffected.

At the first adjustment, I mentioned the “pricking” but then was distracted by discussion of the acoustics–which I thought was a bigger problem at the time.

On July 25th, I wore earphones over the HAs while exercising and felt the “pricking” become stronger. The next day, I wore the HAs for a few hours then took them out. A couple of hours later, I had a severe ear ache which lasted for more than 24 hours, then became milder and more intermittent. Today, July 29, I still have some pain.

I returned the HAs and will get a refund. The audiologist could not see anything wrong in the canal.

This has really shaken me. Because of the severity of the pain at first, I wonder if the trigeminal nerve was involved.

Any thoughts?

Hz .25K—.5K—1K—2K—4K—8K

There are some things you can’t do with hearing aids, or you have to do things differently. I’m sure I could not wear regular headphones. If you are listening to music while exercising you could use the Bluetooth device and listen wirelessly from your smartphone.

Maybe you could try an ear mold rather than an open fit. I have ear molds and use headphones with no problems. Lying down on either side is rather uncomfortable because of the hard mold but you learn to adapt. My wife has open fit aids and has had problems with the tubes causing a feeling of a sore throat,scratching feeling or itching from time to time.

I’m new to hearing aids also, almost 4 weeks. I can’t believe that you are supposed to have any real pain at all from them. Uncomfortable from ‘feeling’ them in your ears, maybe. If they hurt, they probably aren’t fitted properly. I use a stethoscope at work and did have to get a new one with headphones (foam cushions on the earpieces) because the eartips on my old electronic one were uncomfortable and also didn’t fit well enough for me to hear heart and lung sounds clearly.
Good luck.

Ear molds should not hurt. If they do you need to go back and have them reworked or re done. If you have open fit tubes they may be hitting the nerve or you may need different domes.

Hearing aids should not hurt. If they do, something is wrong.

Though I’m just another aid wearer, not a hearing professional, I would have tried to correct this by changing to a different dome or ear mold, or by simply removing the aids when wearing headphones or reclining on that side of the head. I doubt it was something specific to Agils for you; it seems more likely to me to be due to the dome or mold that fit the aid in the ear. If you need hearing aids to hear people better, I would not give up and let this deter me from wearing hearing aids altogether. There has to be a way to help your hearing without pain.

Yes, part of the trigeminal nerve does pass by the ear, and it’s a touchy little critter, as you know, so it could send a strong pain signal with a poorly fitting aid. Do you have any history of neurological issues with your trigeminal nerve on that side? Nerve damage there might be a factor as well.

  1. Ditto on what everyone has said about pain. Hearing aids should not hurt…ever. Discomfort while getting accustomed to having a foreign object in your year? yes…pain??? Never. It is most likely just the way the dome/receiver was sitting in your canal. They sit more deeply in the canal than traditional HA’s and are therefore more prone to touch the more sensitive areas of the ear canal if pressed upon (like when lying down or wearing headphones).

  2. It doesn’t matter that the professional couldn’t SEE the area that was bothering you, they should have tried different tips or receiver lengths to see if that alleviated the problem. Just telling a person that they can’t see it and therefore can’t do anything about it is unacceptable IMHO.

  3. Again, ditto on not giving up because of this experience. There is a comfortable HA out there for you and a professional that will work with you to find it, you just have to find that person.give it another go and let the person you see know about your past experience.

I just got my new aids (Starkey Wi i90s) this afternoon. I work in an automotive shop and will sometimes wear headphones while doing paperwork to reduce the noises coming from the garage. I just tried placing the headphones atop my hearing aids, and while I don’t have the “pricking” sensation, I do notice that there is much more pressure being placed on the skull.

I also notice that the left aid crawls up my ear. Thanks to the forum, I’ll be sure to request longer tube for my aid.

I’ll post my first 4 hours with the device in a separate thread.

Thank you all for your supportive words and for saying that I should not be in pain. I am now trying Siemens Pure. It is comfortable, but I am not wearing it much due to anxiety about being in pain again. The ear that hurt still seems vulnerable and tender–or is it my imagination? The Pure has a somewhat tinnier sound than the Agil, but I’ll trade quality for comfort.

I do not have a history of neurological disorders. My husband has trigeminal neuralgia from a dental injury–he takes anti-seizure meds to control the pain. Because I have knowledge about my husband’s pain, I do believe the pain I experienced probably involved the trigeminal nerve. The lemonade is that it gives me more compassion for my husband.

It’s adjustable. I got great sound from the Rexton Cobalt (similar to the Pure).

The “tinny” sound is usually a product of high frequency amplification that needs to be adjusted. I would recommend that you head over to your audiologist or specialist and ask them to fix that.

When I first got my HA everything sounded tinny, but within 3 or 4 days everything sounded natural again and after my first adjustment everything sounded tinny again for another few days and then it sounded normal again.