When exercising, how can you best keep your hearing aids dry? Is there gear that offers protection? If it’s raining, damp, or cold, should you even wear aids in the first place?
Should I Wear Hearing Aids?
Yes, absolutely. Despite the temperature and season, your hearing aids are crucial for outdoor activities. If you’re with friends, you want to be able to hear them; if alone, you want to be able to hear what’s nearby. It’s important to be able to place yourself in space, aware of your surroundings.
What Gear Should I Get?
Sweatbands can help prevent water from dripping down and pooling into your ears. Used on your wrist or forehead, these can easily allow you to wipe away or stop any perspiration that could potentially damage your device.
Ear Gear products — spandex sleeves that fit over whatever hearing device you have — can also offer a convenient solution. According to their website: “Ear Gear has a unique double wall of spandex that provides protection against sweat, rain, and moisture of all kinds….preventing it from reaching the hearing instrument’s microphone port, battery door, and sensitive interior circuitry.” They even have customizable products and sleeves for cochlear devices.
If you’d rather wear earmuffs, be careful. Traditional earmuffs may make hearing with your aids difficult. They will, however, keep them dry. Consider carrying around a set, just in case it gets a little too wet.
It’s not a bad idea to look into a hearing aid dehumidifier, either. A nightly drying in one of these portable containers can help keep your aid looking and working as good as new.
If you’re in a particularly crowded location (say, inside a ski lodge before heading outside) and you’re worried about losing your aids while wearing a mask, there are mask extenders to help keep both safe and secure (patients of REM are provided these free of charge).
What Should I Do If My Aid Gets Wet?
Don’t panic! Take out the batteries and wipe down everything with a clean cloth. Use a Q-tip® to clean out the battery compartment. If you have a dehumidifier, place your aid in overnight, and if you don’t, try a Ziplock® bag with a silica gel packet. If after all these steps you feel your aid’s functionality has decreased, call your audiologist whenever you’re able.
What Exercise Is Best?
Any exercise is good. When it’s cold, running, jogging, or walking are probably the most manageable. But even if you’re skiing or snowboarding, just remember to keep your aids dry (or covered with Ear Gear or similar protections) and to use your dehumidifiers. And as always, make sure you don’t lose them out there on the slopes (always check any warranty information beforehand, just in case).