A common question people ask us is whether they should wear their hearing aids while they work out. Whether you’re a runner or cyclist, someone who attends high-energy group fitness classes, or participates in competitive sports, the answer is almost always YES! Communication is still important during your workouts, particularly if they’re group activities or team sports. Environmental awareness is important for safety if you’re running or cycling outdoors. And while hearing aids were once easily damaged by sweat, they are now moisture-resistant and much harder to damage.
What to Bring:
You may want to add some hearing-aid specific gear to your gym bag. Here are some suggestions:
- A retention clip or lanyard. If you participate in activities where losing a hearing aid is likely – think dance or impact sports like football – you may want to attach your hearing aids to your clothing so that they don’t get lost if they happen to get knocked off your ears.
- Hearing aid sweatbands. If you perspire heavily, your sweat may drip from your hair into the hearing aid microphones and cause static. While the hearing aids are moisture resistant, too much exposure, particularly in the microphones, can cause trouble over time. You might consider purchasing hearing aid sweatbands or Ear Gear covers: little cloth covers for the hearing aids which absorb sweat and protect the hearing aids. These have the added benefit of reducing wind noise on the microphones for outdoor sports.
- A remote microphone. If you need to be able to hear an instructor or coach from far away, a remote microphone may be of use to you. These are small devices that pair with your hearing aids. The instructor or coach would then clip the microphone to their shirt, and their voice would stream directly into their hearing aids, eliminating the difficulty caused by the distance across the gym or field. (If you have hearing aids from Earlux already and are interested in purchasing a remote microphone, please call us!)
- A carrying case for the hearing aids, if you’re doing something where you really can’t wear the hearing aids – swimmers, this means you. Unfortunately, hearing aids still need to stay in your locker if you’ll be in the pool, and a case reduces the chances of losing them! (A tip: make sure to power the hearing aids off before putting them in the case, to prevent them from squealing while they’re in your locker.)
If you wear your hearing aids to work out on a regular basis, they will need a little extra maintenance:
- Check and replace your wax filters frequently.
- You may also want to purchase disinfectant wipes made for hearing aids, such as Audiowipes. Don’t use alcohol wipes on hearing aids, as these will damage the finish over time.
- A hearing aid dryer is a good thing to own – these help dehumidify hearing aids if they’ve been exposed to sweat and moisture. The most basic ones are simple plastic cases with a pack of desiccant beads which will need to be replaced regularly. The fanciest are electric devices that produce heat and ultraviolet light to both dry and sanitize your hearing aids in just a few minutes. Whichever dryer you get, use it after every workout to keep your hearing aids in top condition.
Noise Hazards and Other Considerations
While we are advising that you continue wearing your hearing aids for exercise, there are some issues to be mindful of. Some exercise classes can be extremely loud, and you will want to make sure you aren’t causing further damage to your hearing. If you will be attending a class with loud music, turn down your volume control prior to entering the class. You may even want a special setting in your hearing aids for your workouts: examples include a lower overall volume for classes with loud music, increased impulse noise reduction if you’ll be around clanking weights, or increased wind noise reduction for outdoor sports. Talk to your hearing care professional about your personal needs!