Are you new to wearing hearing aids and concerned about how they will impact your lifestyle? Do you love running, swimming and cycling? Long walks through lush forests or along the beach, maybe? Don’t worry, wearing hearing aids doesn’t mean you have to give up on your hobbies and favourite sports. With a little care and the right choice of hearing aid, you’ll be well equipped for almost any type of workout!
Exercise is important for all ages and one of the best ways to stay healthy and fit. Even a short 20-minute workout or walk benefits your physical health and improves your mental health and wellbeing. It’s also a great way to stay connected to your local community and broaden your social circle!
When people are first diagnosed with a hearing loss and are weighing up their treatment options, hearing aids are almost always the top choice. Nonetheless, our patients are often worried that hearing aids could hold them back or that they’ll be forced to change their daily routines. Let us have a look at why that’s not necessarily the case.
Hearing aids have so many benefits – in fact, too many to discuss them in this article. So we recommend you visit our blog and read up on different types of hearing solutions and the most common hearing aid misconceptions.
Some of the most famous athletes – like Derrick Coleman, the first legally deaf offensive player in the NFL and Tamika Catching, a US Olympian who won three Gold Medals, have a hearing loss – but won’t let it stop them from pursuing their dreams.
So if you’ve been wondering if you can exercise with your hearing aids, the answer is yes, you clearly can! And more so, we say that wearing hearing aids while exercising is much better than not wearing them.
Hearing aids can be worn for most types of exercise, including yoga, gym, golfing, jogging or dancing. Hearing aids can enhance your exercise experience in many ways. Only for some water sports such as swimming or surfing, it may be better to remove hearing aids to prevent water damage to internal components. This is unless you have hearing aids specifically designed for the purpose.
In 2012, the Hear-the-World Foundation conducted a study that revealed that 70 per cent of hearing aid wearers enjoy sporting activities more with their hearing aids. 47 per cent of wearers reported sports to be more enjoyable with their trusted hearing aids.
Some of the reasons why you would want to exercise with hearing aids include greater safety, communication and connectivity.
When exercising with hearing aids, you are a lot more aware of your surroundings. You can hear announcements, warning signs and other emergency sounds. Let’s say you were to run or cycle without your hearing aids. You might miss the approaching sirens of an emergency vehicle or other safety hazards, increasing your risk of significant injuries. Therefore, wearing hearing aids while exercising can keep you and those around you safe.
Hearing aids improve your communication with exercise partners. This holds true if you are involved in a team sport, where constant communication is needed between multiple players or if you’re working out one-on-one with a gym buddy or personal trainer.
When you are hearing others clearly, it can enhance your performance and make it easier to engage in social activities. Without your hearing aids, you might miss key instructions or not hear fellow teammates, especially in the presence of background noise. This will affect not only your but also your team’s performance.
In addition, many modern hearing aids are equipped with wireless options that allow you to connect hearing aids and mobile phones via Bluetooth. This enables hearing aid wearers to stream music or incoming phone calls and messages directly into their ears. So, if you like listening to your favourite podcast or audiobooks, or motivational music while you are exercising, hearing aids will make your workouts all the more enjoyable.
Worried about sweat ruining your hearing aids? You can continue to exercise with your hearing aids with few extra precautions. Perspiration during exercise is natural but too much of it can damage your hearing aids, reducing their function and increasing the chances of bacterial growth.
Similarly, if exercising outdoors, it is important to ensure that hearing aids are not in direct contact with sunscreen, insect repellent spray or excess rain and snow. As increased moisture can penetrate the hearing aid, it can further damage the internal electronic components of the hearing aids.
While some hearing aids have moisture resistance coating, which provides some immunity against moisture damage, this doesn’t make them completely immune to corrosion or bacterial growth. Extra precautions such as investing in a sweatband or hearing aid sweat covers can protect the hearing aids from damage through perspiration.
Protective hearing aid covers are made from weatherproof nylon-spandex sleeves which fit over most hearing aids. It’s also strongly advised to place your hearing aids into a dehumidifier or a drying box, which can be purchased from your trusted local audiology clinic to absorb the extra moisture and prevent any bacterial growth.
Another frequent problem that may be encountered when exercising with hearing aids: How do you keep them in the ear and prevent them from falling out? During vigorous exercises such as running, wrestling and dancing, where lots of active movement is used, hearing aids may come off the ear.
To combat this issue you have multiple options, which are based on the type of hearing aids you have. For example, if you have Behind the Ear (BTE) hearing aids, you can use a headband that goes over the hearing aids to keep them in place or use close-fitting caps so the hearing aids are anchored more securely onto your head.
Alternatively, you can invest in a hearing aid clip or lanyard to prevent your hearing aids from falling out from your ear. This hearing aid clip attaches to your hearing aids and ‘clips’ onto your clothes.
Another way to protect your precious hearing aids and prologue their lifespan is to inspect and clean your hearing aids daily. You should be doing this every evening, not just only after exercise, to ensure the long health of your hearing aids. This involves wiping them down with an antibacterial wipe, changing any domes and wax filters if required.
At the end of each day, remove the hearing aid batteries and leave the battery door open for aeration overnight. Hearing aids can be cleaned by a hearing aid puffer which blows small amounts of air through the hearing aid tubing and moulds to get rid of any excess moisture.
In addition, store your hearing aids in a cool, dry place. Avoid putting them in the glove compartment of a car, a hot room or a table in the sun. If you choose to exercise without hearing aids, make sure you are showered and have thoroughly dried your ears before placing your hearing aids back in the ear to prevent them from being in contact with any residual moisture.
If you have additional questions or concerns about exercising with your hearing aids, ask your local audiologist during your next appointment or give the Attune Hearing team a call at 1300 736 702. We are here to support you and your hearing needs, so do not hesitate to contact us if in doubt.