Part of My Hearing Aid is Stuck in My Ear
Picture this: You take off your hearing aids for a battery change and you notice that the plastic end piece, or dome, is no longer on the end. You look around for it on the floor or on your person but you can’t find it. You realize that there is a good chance that the dome is stuck in your ear.
Example dome that you might find on your hearing aid
Example Receiver without a dome on it
What can I do?
So now what? First, don’t panic. While it is not ideal to have a foreign object in your ear, it is very unlikely that a dome will cause damage to your ear canal, ear drum or your ability to hear. In fact, it is almost always very easy and painless to remove a dome that has been left behind in an ear. However, it is not recommended that you attempt to remove anything from your ear by yourself or have a friend or family member remove it for you. The only person that should attempt to remove the dome from your ear is a healthcare professional. If at all possible, contact your audiologist or hearing provider first to alert them to the situation. Likely, they will have you stop by the office on the day of your call to quickly remove the dome using tools designed to do so safely. While going to the emergency room or a walk-in clinic is certainly an option, this may end up costing you significantly more time and money and is therefore only recommended if you are having pain or if you notice any blood or discharge coming from your ear. Pain may indicate that the dome is touching your eardrum or the deeper portions of your ear canal, which can be very uncomfortable but again, usually does not cause damage. It is most important to remember not to get tempted to stick anything like tweezers into your ear to remove the dome yourself, as this is when you are most likely to cause serious injury.
How can I prevent this situation from happening?
To help prevent the situation from occurring in the future, be sure to push the dome completely on to the speaker unit before putting the hearing aid in. It is best practice to give the tip of the dome a soft tug to assure that it is secure before use. Keep in mind that even when the dome is secure, it can still loosen with time or get stuck in some ear wax that causes it to dislodge in your ear. While the situation can be distressing, rest assured that most likely, it can be resolved quickly and painlessly for you without a problem.