Very sore ears

Several months ago, my hearing became more distorted. The hospital audiologist said there was a very small change in my audiogram, but it should not make any difference.

He was wrong! I could no longer hear the TV clearly through the loop system, and hearing in general had become worse.
About six weeks ago, my hearing became more distorted. I suspected the HA may be faulty, and my wife listened to it via a stetaset. She said it was very clear, and it must be my ears.

Last Wednesday I was so fed up, I went to the hospital repair clinic. The right HA was checked, fitted with new filters, and tube. It seemed a little better, but fortunately the nice lady decided to try a new Nathos HA. This was very much better, still distorted, but manageable.
I have an appointment to see the audiologist Sept 23rd, as I am having problems with very sore ears. This has been ongoing since February, when I had the first new moulds of several this year. All have been very painful, although the last ones are supposed to be anti allergy. I am not convinced… I have tried E45, Germaline, Vaseline and Savlon. Nothing works, and my ears are dry in the mornings, and very flaky, although I use Savlon overnight. Putting the mould in is painful, taking it out, feels as if it’s taking the skin with it. So not very happy.
I am running out of ideas, anyone any suggestions please.

Have you tried cleaning your ears out with Q-Tips after your shower? Tried alcohol on that Q-Tip to help clean and dry the ear. Then a topical antibiotic for healing.
If that doesn’t work you need medical help.

Thanks for your reply Raudrive.

I do clean my ears, but not used alcohol. Not sure which antibiotic to use. I wipe the moulds with antibacterial baby wipes every day.

This is something to discus with the audiologist at my appointment. I will also see a pharmacist who may have some ideas before that.

This could also be a fungus issue. Maybe a anti fungal is worth trying too.
As you can tell I am not a doctor. I just try to avoid them whenever possible. They seem to always find something wrong when I go.

Thanks Raudrive.

I agree. I stay away from doctors, unless there is no alternative. But that is another thought, I will see what I can find out about it.

If it is fungal, an old trick that still works is to dip a Q tip in white vinegar and swab the ear canal. A small jar of vinegar in the bathroom makes it easy to do in the morning. The PH of the vinegar will kill the fungus. It can’t hurt and is a cheap fix if it is fungal.

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Thanks for your reply gorgeguy.

Unfortunately, no white vinegar. You can’t win them all!!!

You should see a physician. Using cures recommended by people on the internet could make your problem worse.

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I vote for seeing a doctor too (or your audiologist before Sept. 23rd.) You’ve been dealing with this for over 6 months. I don’t know what’s going on, but I suspect initial irritation from new molds, irritated by you trying to fix it.

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Lots of discussion about ear-canal irritation, but what about the distortion and the trouble hearing?

Distortion might not show up on a hearing test, which tests the minimum amplitudes sensible but not how the sound is processed. I’ve never heard of distortion in hearing, but could conceivably be related to changes/dysfunction in the middle ear and limits to travel. That coupled with pain in the ear is very troubling.

Have you had any fevers? Have you been carefully checked by an ENT doctor? With this combination of issues you should see a medical doctor, and I think it should be an ENT specialist.

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Member68, I can assure you from TWO previous attempts: hypoallergenic custom molds CAN be allegenic! Both times I went that route my entire ears from outside to into the canal became red, inflamed, ON FIRE, and ended in otitis - yes, both times.

As a result, I’ve sworn off ALL hypo-allergenic molds, and that pretty much means I can never use the tube + mold accessory for any BTE aid. For the past 4 years now, I’ve done fine with a Receiver-In-Ear (BTE-style) hearing aid that uses the wire and silicone power dome.

I return in 2 weeks to my audiologist to try out the molded SILICONE (not hard plastic or hypoallergenic material) ear tip that will replace my power domes. IF I get a reaction, that’s the end of the story. I’ll go back to silicone power domes.

Not sure how much flexibility you have here, but I’d try a different material for getting that receiver into your ear: either the old-fashioned, flesh-colored molded plastic (which never causes a reaction), the silicone tulip or power domes, or perhaps a silicone tip as I’ll be trying out. DO come back to report what works for you, cuz inflamed ears is only going to lead you down a path to bigger issues: doctor visit, medication, NO aids while the ears heal, etc.,

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Your suggestion here could be spot-on! I do sometimes have distortion in hearing when my domes aren’t seated nice and tight in the ear canal. I wonder if that’s part of Member68’s issue, too? That is why I’m eager to try out silicone tips - which may help the aids stay in place better.

Perhaps Member68 has intermittent swelling related to the ear irritation that is resulting in the molds NOT providing a perfect seal? Hope he gets it looked into.

Phonak now makes Titanium ear-molds. My Audi returned silicone molds, now waiting for the T’s.

Thanks 1Bluejay.

I have a moderate to profound loss, so soft ear moulds are the only way to stop feedback. I will query the possibility of the old fashioned hard plastic, which may need something to make a good seal.

It is very unlikely I shall get a doctors appointment in the next three weeks. They are overworked, and there’s not enough of them.

Hope your moulded silicone meets your expectations.

Thanks for your reply haggis.

You are very fortunate not to have experienced distorted hearing. It is difficult for people to understand what it sounds like, and I can only compare it to a HIFI with a blown speaker, or a 1960’s transistor radio, running on a flat battery. Neither very pleasant to hear.

I have had distorted hearing, since 2005 when I had what was called a “heart attack of the ear” which severely damaged the hearing nerve. There is also damage to the cochlea. My left ear has never had any useful hearing, although audiologists are surprised how useful I find it.

I have an ear spray used for an infection a while ago, it contains acetic acid, and an antibiotic. Talking to a pharmacist, he recommends I use that. It has calmed the pain down, but not cured it yet.
I have also cleaned the moulds in a Ultrasonic cleaner. Which I do fairly regularly.

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Thanks Remag1234.

They could be a bit pricey! I doubt our NHS would go for them. But an interesting thought…

I think what you’re referring to here is the Virto B-Titanium hearing aid? That’s not really an ear mold, but rather a super discreet, completely in-the-ear aid.

Great for folks with a mild hearing loss. For me? Yeah … bring on the TRUMPET! I need it BIG! LOUD! Super NOT discreet! That’s why I wish aids would be in wild colors and patterns. Ain’t no hiding this one.

I hope after all this time your irritated ear canal is staying to settle down for you. If it hasn’t you really should be seeing your ENT specialist asap. With the hope you can get it to settle down before you see the audiologists later this month. If you have a closed dome at home switch to that for awhile. Give your canal a chance to heal. But using the dome isn’t going to give you clearer hearing but your ear canal might start to heal.

I’m referring to Phonak Ear Mold made of Titanium. My Audi returned my Silicone Ear Molds with a NEW SET OF EAR MOLDS. Phonak will make a new pair of ear molds made of Titanium if my molds meet their specs.

Thanks for your reply, Deaf piper.

The ear canal is fine. It’s the outer ear that is very sore, but the ear spray I have is definitely clearing up the infection, and it is much more comfortable this morning.

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