How to Stay Active Without Damaging Your Hearing Aids
Many patients assume that they should take off their hearing aid while active. However, that’s not always wise. Wearing hearing aids offers multiple benefits, even to those at the gym, playing sports or going out for a jog. For example, hearing aids enhance personal safety. They let you hear traffic when you are running or listen to instructions from teammates when involved in a game.
Hearing aids also increase your ability to communicate. If you can’t hear what other players are saying, you will be less effective in matches. Hearing aids offer quality-of-life benefits, too. They let you listen to your favorite tunes during intense workouts.
Keeping your hearing aids safe while active, though, is challenging. There are many hazards when playing sports that simply don’t apply when you are sedentary. In this article, we're taking a look at some of the ways that you can remain active while wearing hearing aids.
Get A Proper Fitting
Getting a proper hearing aid fitting is essential for all hearing aid users, particularly if you are active. The hearing aid needs to remain firmly planted in the ear. If it falls out, the risk of damage rises dramatically.
Fortunately, these days, there is plenty of sporting equipment designed with hearing aids in mind. Manufacturers will often advertise items, such as hoods, headbands and helmets, as hearing-aid friendly. These pieces of equipment have special features that keep hearing aids in place, even during intense physical activity.
Use A Clip
Aftermarket clips for holding hearing aids in position are also available. These perform a similar function, keeping your hearing aids firmly planted in your ears, even if you change direction suddenly. Clips sometimes hook around the back of the neck but most clip to the ear itself. They may also provide extra armor for external parts of the hearing aid.
Use A Headband
Even if your hearing aids are water-resistant, sweat can still damage them. Moisture can make its way into internal components and cause corrosion. Sweat is particularly harmful because it contains salt which accelerates the process.
Using a high-quality headband can prevent this. It absorbs all of the sweat dripping off your head during physical activity, preventing it from damaging your hearing aids.
Take Care of Your Hearing Aid After Being Active
After you finish exercising, it’s essential to take care of your hearing aids, even if you follow all of the precautions outlined above. Start by cleaning them and removing any external moisture. Then place them in a dry box that will remove the remaining water caught in the internals before they harm the microcircuitry or metallic components. Also, if your device has one, leave the battery door open. Doing this will help moisture leave the device.
Use Antimicrobial Products
You can also improve the effectiveness of your cleaning with antimicrobial wipes. These stop bacteria from building up in your device and impacting how it functions. Today, there are various antimicrobial products available for hearing aids. Consult with your audiologist about the best one for your device.
Use A Puffer
Puffers are accessories that blow air gently through hearing aid tubes and moldings to keep them obstruction or debris-free. They are also great for removing small droplets of moisture from the hearing aid and are an inexpensive tool that you can get from most local drug stores.
Wear a Hearing Aid
Behind-the-ear (BTE) devices are powerful and extremely capable. However, their external components are at a high risk of impact during exercise, particularly in contact sports. For this reason, many active people wear in-the-canal (ITC) or in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids. These hearing aids have zero or minimal external components, reducing the risk of damage dramatically.
If you normally wear a BTE device and prefer it for everyday living, you can still use it. Many sports professionals with hearing loss alternate between ITE and ITC devices, as and when they need them.
Find The Right Hearing Aid for You
If you’d like to learn more about protecting your hearing aids while you are active, get in touch with our team of audiologists. We help you find the right assistive hearing devices for your lifestyle and provide comprehensive fittings. We can also provide advice on how to clean your device after exercise or sport and accessories you can use to protect it while active.
To learn more, get in touch with Peninsula Hearing today. Call our Poulsbo at 360-697-3061 or Port Townsend at 360-379-5458.