Exercising with hearing aids

Contributed by Debbie Clason, Healthy Hearing Associate
September 8, 20212021-09-08T00: 00: 00-05: 00

If you are not wearing your hearing aids when doing your favorite sport or working out at the gym, you might want to reconsider.

Why your hearing aids should be part of your training equipment

Today’s hearing aids are more robust and more resistant to dust and moisture than they used to be. With a little care and preparation, there is no reason not to wear them when training and competing. Here’s why:

  • Increased communication skills – When you play a team sport, it is important to be able to communicate with the other players on the field or on the pitch. And spending time in the gym can be both a social event and a workout. Despite the background noise, your hearing aids will make it easier for you to meet with your training partners and / or listen to your fitness trainer.
  • Personal security – Even if you are not playing at competitive level, wearing your hearing aids during exercise can be as much a personal safety issue as anything else. Runners and bikers who exercise outdoors are safer when they can hear the sirens of approaching paramedics or rescue workers. Golfers need to hear someone shouting “in front” from the other side of the course, just as cyclists need to hear the noise of the road from approaching vehicles. Unconvinced? Read this man’s story about how hearing aids helped him avoid bicycle accidents and become active again.
  • Your favorite songs – Few things get you through a strenuous workout like your favorite music while you sweat. Many of today’s hearing aids offer wireless functionality that allows you to easily connect using Bluetooth technology so you can stream music directly through your hearing aids.

Hearing aid equipment for your sports bag

A cyclist wears an Oticon SmartClip to protect his hearing aid.
The SafeLine (sold by Oticon) keeps your hearing
Aids safe.

One of the best ways to feel comfortable wearing your hearing aids during physical activity is to prepare for them. Here is a list of some of the gear you should have on hand:

  • Remote microphones – If listening to your fitness trainer is important or if you are in a large noisy class, you can ask them to wear a remote microphone that will broadcast the sound directly to your hearing aids.
  • Sweatbands for hearing aids – If you are sweating profusely and are concerned about your behind-the-ear hearing aids (BTE) getting soaked, keep some hearing aid sweatbands in your gym bag. These absorbent sleeves fit over your hearing aid to protect it from sweat and dirt, are available in a variety of colors and are sized to fit your particular hearing aid. They are a relatively inexpensive way to protect your hearing aid investment and vary in price depending on size and manufacturer.
  • Skull cap – These tight fitting caps are available in different materials and colors; Some are specifically designed for sports with a cooling performance fabric that absorbs moisture. Look for these accessories online or in sports stores. Prices range from $ 10 to $ 25.
  • Hearing aid clip – Depending on your hearing aid type, a hearing aid clip will help prevent loss of a hearing aid if it accidentally comes off your ear. One example is the SafeLine. Most clips have a lightweight lanyard that attaches to the hearing aid at one end and to your clothing at the other. If your hearing care professional is not available, you can purchase these accessories online in a variety of styles and colors, ranging from $ 8 to $ 12. These can be especially useful when trying to wear a face mask at the same time.
  • buffer – A hearing aid buffer blows small amounts of air through the hearing aid or its tubes and fittings to keep it clean and free from clogs. And since sweat droplets from your ears can sometimes get into tubing and earmolds, a buffer is a useful tool for drying them in the locker room or at home. This inexpensive tool is available at local drug stores for $ 3 to $ 5.
  • Antimicrobial products – Disinfectant wipes specially made for hearing aids are easy to carry in your sports bag and practical for cleaning your hearing aids from home. Discuss with your hearing care professional how best to keep your particular model clean and disinfected. If your hearing center doesn’t have disinfectant wipes, look online. Prices range from $ 7 to $ 20.

Post-workout care

Hearing aids last longer and work more effectively if you care for them after your workout just like your other sports equipment.

  • Clean and check your hearing aids daily. Carefully remove any wax and debris with a wax picker. Use a buffer to squeeze the moisture out of the tube and dry it overnight. If your hearing center did not provide you with a cleaning kit when you purchased your equipment, you can order one online. Prices range from $ 14 to $ 40.
  • Invest in a hearing aid dehumidifier. These inexpensive devices remove moisture and disinfect hearing aids and cochlear implants, and are a safe place to keep while you sleep. Online prices range from $ 5 to $ 80.

Stay active with hearing loss

A study carried out by the Hear the World Foundation found that 70 percent of hearing aid users state that they can wear their devices during sporting activities without any problems. And 37 percent of users say that wearing hearing aids makes exercise more comfortable. If wearing your hearing aids during leisure time can improve your safety and personal enjoyment, it may be time to give it a try.

If you have specific questions about wearing your hearing aids in your favorite sports or hobbies, your hearing care professional can help. They’ll also show you the best way to keep your hearing aids in tip-top shape no matter what activity you enjoy.

Watch out for hearing hazards in the gym

Gyms are notorious for turning up the music, but doing so can lead to hearing loss and tinnitus. Likewise, loudly smashing weights or holding your breath when lifting heavily. Talk to your hearing care professional about how you can compensate for your hearing loss with the hidden hearing risks. You can even get a special hearing aid setting for gym workouts, depending on your needs.

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