Caring for Hearing Aids During Outdoor Adventures
Caring for your hearing aids throughout the different seasons of the year isn’t something you really think about until you get hearing aids yourself and need to know how to care for them firsthand. Do you know if you should wear your hearing aids out in the cold winter air or to the beach in the summer?
Your hearing aids are a big investment, and you need to take care of them each day, no matter what interest you’re pursuing. Some activities are better done without your hearing aids though. Let’s look at some of the best ways you can keep your hearing aids safe and sound while still being able to wear them as much as possible to hear all the sounds around you.
Caring for Your Hearing Aids During All Your Adventures
1. Keep Things Clean
Your hearing aids get all kinds of things in them, most of which you’re probably not even aware of. We aren’t just talking about earwax either! There’s bug spray, sunscreen, sweat and more that can buildup on your hearing aids over time. All these tiny little specs of material can cause quite a bit of damage to the most sensitive parts of your hearing aids when this happens.
Being outdoors adds dirt and sand and maybe even saltwater to the mix too. No matter what time of year it is, remembering to wipe your hearing aids off each night before bed can make a big difference in how well your hearing aids work and how long they last.
Do your best to keep from touching your hearing aids during activities where your hands are dirty. Things like working in the yard, playing sports, or doing manual labor that can be messy are all some of the biggest culprits of dirty hands and dirty hearing aids.
2. Keep Things Dry
Keeping your hearing aids dry is often easier said than done. Depending on where you live, the summer months can be extremely hot and humid. That humidity and the amount you are sure to sweat while enjoying activities outdoors, or even going about your regular day can be enough to hurt your hearing aids. A daily wipe down (or sometimes several wipe downs a day) and consistent maintenance is required to keep them working right. It’s good to know up front that hearing aids are not a maintenance free kind of device. Attention must be paid to them for successful, clear hearing.
If you think there could be condensation or any kind of moisture in your hearing aids, find a clean, dry place, take them out and wipe them down. Check inside the battery compartment and wipe that area down as well. There are also things like dry aid kits, dehumidifier boxes, or UV boxes (using UV light rays) that can be purchased to help remove and draw out any excess moisture that can seep its way in during the day.
If you are spending a day at the beach or going swimming at the pool, this is definitely a time to leave your hearing aids behind. If you’re headed out in rainy weather or the winter elements, consider wearing a hat that covers your ears to keep your hearing aids dry and safe.
Most hearing aids are not waterproof, only water resistant and so paying attention to possible water damage is a must. In the end, cleaning your hearing aids each day and using your best judgement as you participate in outdoor activities of all kinds and in all types of weather should keep them in working order for many years to come.
3. Keep Things Cool and Protected
Don’t let your hearing aids sit in the hot sun, no matter what! While it may feel good to you, your hearing aids do not love it. The plastic parts, when exposed to sunlight can get very hot and possibly even melt. Don’t leave them in your hot car, thinking they will be safe there either. If you can, wear a hat or even a sweatband if you must be out during the hottest part of the day, and take frequent breaks to get out of the sunshine. This is not only good advice for your overall health, but your hearing aid health as well.
Hearing Aids Are Not Working Correctly?
Do you know what happens when your hearing aids are not working right? It’s important to pay close attention to symptoms that your hearing aids are displaying so that you can clean, dry, or repair them when needed. Some symptoms you may experience include:
Problem #1: Hearing aids not working at all or not producing any sound.
Fix #1: Clean off your hearing aids and replace the battery.
Problem #2: Static sounds interrupting your ability to hear.
Fix #2: Dry your hearing aids using a clean cloth and dehumidifier if you have one.
Problem #3: Erratic or very soft sounds being produced.
Fix #3: Dry any moisture that you find in your hearing aid or battery compartment. Also check out the tubing area for any moisture that could be stuck inside.
If you’ve tried the solutions suggested and are still having problems with your hearing aids producing clear sounds, contact your audiologist for more information and to make an appointment to get them checked out. They deal with hearing aids all day long and will be able to help with a resolution.
Want to Know More?
The changing seasons bring ever changing weather, and with that, different ways that your hearing aids will need to be maintained. Sometimes you may have questions about whether your hearing aids are appropriate to wear during certain activities. The team at Fairfax Hearing Center are here to help.
Call Fairfax Hearing Center to schedule a consultation and hearing test, or to get answers to your hearing aid care questions. We value our patients and want their experience with hearing aids to be rewarding. At Fairfax Hearing Center, we will do all we can to help make you successful in your hearing endeavors.