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Airport Screeners, Tanning Beds and Hearing Aids

Thanks for the question. It sounds like you are going someplace tropical if you are getting a tan before leaving! I hope you have a relaxing time.

Most of your hearing aid is plastic with a very small amount of metal parts that are in the microphone, speaker and wiring. Therefore, your aids should not set off any metal detectors at the airport. Odds are, your belt buckle will set off alarms instead of your hearing aids. Regardless of being concerned about setting off any alarms, I would advise you to wear your hearing aids when going through security as you need to be able to hear any instructions that the security personnel are telling you.

I visited the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website and found a page specific to travelers with hearing loss:

According to the TSA, hearing aids or cochlear implants should not be affected by the screening process. If you would like, you can inform a security officer that you have a hearing loss and request that you have a full body pat-down and physical inspection of your devices instead of sending them through a metal detector and/or x-ray machine. I would advise you to visit the TSA website (www.tsa.gov) for additional information.

Regarding wearing your hearing aid in a tanning bed. Anytime you are in an extremely moist or humid environment, moisture can get into the components of the hearing aid and over time result in hearing aid failure. You have no need to communicate in the tanning bed, so I would not wear the aids, plus you do not want any tan lines on your ears right? If you are heading to the beach or pool I would not wear them when you are in the water either.

Over time, your hearing aid will get exposed to moisture in the air and from your skin. I would advise getting a hearing aid drying kit to use on a maintenance type basis. This will extend the life of your hearing aid over time.

Use sunscreen and have a great trip!

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