In my last post, I said that I hadn’t worn my CI for three weeks.
While I was at home over Spring Break, and chatting with my mom, I was itching, so I started to scratch my ear. She saw that my ear was red, and asked me to take off my CI, which revealed that it looked like I had contact dermatitis. My ear had been itching, but I never paid much attention to it, since I figured it was part of normal bodily functions, if you have a itch, you scratch it. Living alone, I can’t see the side of my neck/behind my ear, so I paid no attention to it.
Her thought was that the redness that was there, was along the same area where the CI Processor and the battery pack were resting against my skin. I stopped wearing it for two days, to let it subside, and on the third day, when I put it back on, it started to flare up again.
I went to the doctor, who said it looked like an allergic reaction, who then called a ENT specialist to see what he thought, and he agreed. I haven’t changed shampoo, or used anything that was new and could be possible triggers for an allergic reaction. Catherine was talking with the audiologists at AB, who sent me a list of questions, and decided to keep an eye on it and see what happens.
Thus began the journey of not wearing it for five and a half weeks, which was my decision. I finally put it back on Wednesday afternoon, April 16, as my boyfriend’s parents came up to visit. It was my first time meeting them, and I wanted to be sure I could hear them. By the time we got to Friday night, my ear was all red again, sore, and irritated. During the break with the CI, my ear felt much better, and wasn’t sore.
This is why I think there’s something with the processor/batteries that is causing me to have a reaction to the materials used (I suspect the paint). I’m back to wearing it off and on (depending on my mood) and what my day is going to be like.
My options at this point are to clean it with a alcohol wipe, put moleskin on it/behind my ear, and recently, somebody recommended clear nail polish. I’m a bit iffy about adding more chemicals or materials to the CI, as it’s heavy enough as it is, and I don’t want to void any warranties by modifying it. I want to wear it as it is. I haven’t had problems with the hearing aids, why am I having problems with the CI? That’s what I don’t understand.