Summertime accessories for your hearing aid
Editor's note: This article was originally published in 2014. Due to its overwhelming popularity, we've updated it to run today.
Heat, sun, sweat, time in the water; summer is here! Having a hearing aid shouldn’t limit your warm-weather activities, and there are a number of hearing aid accessories designed to help protect your device while still allowing you the freedom to run, swim, hike and spike your way through the summer.
Americans spend an average of one to two hours per day outdoors during the summer months. In many cases, that time is spent in severe heat and sunlight, which can be damaging to your hearing aid. Hearing aids have an average life expectancy of five years, but that could be extended with proper maintenance and care.
If you spend a lot of time outdoors, consider purchasing a wind and weather protector for your hearing aid. The small filters slip into your hearing aid as an added buffer for wind, rain and other obstacles you might encounter outdoors. They also come with a tool to assist in replacing the filters.
Another option is a hearing aid sleeve, which fits over the hearing aid and provides protection against dirt, sand, sweat and other moisture, without compromising the quality of the hearing aid’s functionality. This is a good option to consider if you will be spending any time at the beach, laying out or building sand castles.
If you’re an active individual, you probably understand how difficult it can be to keep your hearing aid in place when you’re hiking or playing sports. Luckily, there are several devices designed to solve that problem so those with hearing loss don’t have to sacrifice their active lifestyle. A sport clip keeps your hearing aids securely in place by either wrapping a wire around your ear or fitting a plastic piece around your ear. These attached directly to the hearing aid to keep them in place. Sport necklaces are also available, which clip onto the hearing aid and wrap around the back of your head.
Hearing aid sweat bands are similar to hearing aid sleeves, and protect your hearing aid from perspiration while you’re running, jumping or hiking. The cloth slips over the hearing aid, but still doesn’t compromise sound quality.
If you’re into water sports, there are many water-resistant covers out there that help protect against splashes and other small amounts of moisture. Most of these are not waterproof, however so if you’re a swimmer, consult your audiologist about waterproof hearing aids, which don’t need extra protection and allow you to get in and out of the water freely without worrying about removing your hearing aid. If you’re a frequent swimmer, you also might want to consider a sports clip to keep your hearing aid safely in place.
There are many hearing aids that come equipped with these features already, so be sure to discuss your lifestyle with your audiologist to ensure you receive the best possible hearing aid suited to you. Some hearing aids are not only waterproof, but shock-resistant as well, which is useful for intense activities like contact sports, hiking or mountain climbing.
Remember, just because you have hearing loss doesn’t mean you can’t continue all the pursuits you used to enjoy. Technology is improving every day, so ask an audiologist in your area what the best options are for you.