Quad Cities, IL/IA

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Athletics and Hearing Aids


By Rachel F. King, AuD, Audiology Consultants

We all know we are supposed to stay physically active to stay healthy. For people with hearing loss, a limiting factor in participating in physical activities could be the inability to hear or concerns about damaging hearing aids. If you feel you can hear well enough without your hearing aids, then go ahead and leave them out during your physical activities. If you feel you need your hearing aids, however, here are some things to consider.

Moisture is the top concern with sporting activities and hearing aids. Perspiration is the most common source of that concern. Be sure to mention your desire to participate in athletic activities to your audiologist as you are selecting hearing aids for purchase. There are hearing aids on the market now that withstand exposure to moisture better than they used to. If these options are not right for you, or you are not in the market for new hearing aids any time soon, protect your hearing aids from moisture as much as possible. The use of a hearing aid dryer kit is highly recommended, even if you have the moisture resistant hearing aids. There are a variety of options and price ranges for hearing aid drying kits. Ask your audiologist for guidance in choosing the best option for you. You can prevent some moisture from getting to the hearing aids by wearing a sweat band. You can also purchase different sleeves to put on “behind-the-ear” hearing aids, to give more protection from moisture.

Participation in water sports is a great time for you, but not so much for your hearing aids! Check with your audiologist about your specific water sport and your hearing aids. Most of the time, however, it will be better to leave the hearing aids out of your ears until you are back on dry ground!

The other concern with wearing hearing aids while participating in sports is the loss of the hearing aids or damage to the hearing aid. Of particular concern is participation in activities where blows to the head are possible and common — such as ball sports or wrestling. Wearing helmets over the ears and hearing aids may be a viable option. If the hearing aids give too much feedback, ask your audiologist for suggestions on the programming, or look into modifying the helmet to prevent the feedback. If helmets are not commonly worn or allowed, then you will have to weigh the risks for yourself. If you are solely concerned about losing the hearing aids, secure them to your head. Some options for this include headbands that go over the hearing aids or otoclips that tie the hearing aids to your clothing. Your audiologist can help you find the best solution for your hearing aids.

For some, wind noise while participating in outdoor sports is a problem. There are solutions available for wind noise, but it depends on the type of hearing aids you wear. Talk with your audiologist about your participation in these activities.

Remember, exercise is good for your brain — which is good for your hearing! Don’t let your hearing loss or your hearing aids become another excuse. Ask your audiologist for help and suggestions today!

For more information, call Audiology Consultants, PC, at 563-355-7712 or visit www.audiologyconsultants.com.

Photo credit: Susan Chiang/iStock