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Sometimes people who have hearing issues are resistant to the idea of starting to wear hearing aids. We commonly hear concerns like, “They’ll make me feel old,” or, “I won’t be able to do the things I used to.”
The reality is that untreated hearing loss is what can take away our mobility and limit our activities. Hearing aids, by amplifying environmental sound, have been shown over and over again to promote more physical activity, more rewarding social experiences, and an overall improved sense of health and well-being. When we can hear the world clearly, we feel more comfortable doing the things we wish to do.
Your Lifestyle Is Always a Consideration
When you come in for a hearing test, your hearing care provider will inquire about your lifestyle, the things that are important to you, and the times when your hearing loss gives you the most trouble. This information is important in terms of the guidance we provide on which hearing aids will work best for you, and fit most easily into your lifestyle as it is.
For those who aren’t that physically active, many hearing aids may be fine. But if you enjoy jogging, tennis, watersports, or a number of other more physically demanding activities, there are hearing aids available that will keep up with you, and help you perform your best!
Can I Participate in Sports with Hearing Aids?
Yes! Thanks in large part to rechargeable battery technology, hearing aids can now be manufactured that are more effectively sealed against moisture and debris. If you engage in sports, one of these hearing aids may be best for you. The Phonak Audeo Life is one such model, which is waterproof up to 1.64 ft of submersion.
The main concern with most sports is the extra perspiration that your hearing aids will need to stand up to. BTE (behind-the-ear) and RIC (receiver-in-canal) wearers can also acquire a “hearing aid sweat band,” which is a small sleeve that you can slip your hearing aids into to help absorb sweat before it can get into the small openings in your hearing aids.
Hearing aids are rated with the same IP system that is used for all electronic devices. An IP rating has two digits: the first digit indicates resistance to debris, while the second indicates resistance to moisture. The higher the rating, the better off your hearing aids will be if they’re exposed to high moisture content.
Most hearing aids from reputable manufacturers are rated IP68, which means they should be able to withstand submersion in three feet of water for up to 30 minutes. While it is not recommended that you expose your hearing aids to this kind of treatment, it is the case that most hearing aids can handle some moisture without immediately failing.
However, if you expose your hearing aids to moisture on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to bring them in for a professional drying and cleaning from time to time. This helps evacuate the moisture that collects in them to protect the sensitive electronics inside from eventually breaking down.
Most hearing aid manufacturers recommend taking their hearing aids out when you go boating or sailing, though both Signia and ReSound say their hearing aids are fine for these activities. Of course the aforementioned Phonak Audeo Life is also appropriate for water-based activities.
Listening to Music
Many of us enjoy listening to music while we jog, work out, garden, or engage in any number of other activities. With a modern set of hearing aids, you’ll be able to connect wirelessly to your smartphone via Bluetooth, which will allow you to play music directly through your hearing aids, with your exact hearing loss profile in the mix! You’ll be able to enjoy your music with clarity you haven’t heard in years.
All the Places You Go
Even if you’re not the “high adventure” type, hearing aids help you get more physical activity and get out of the house more often. When hearing loss sets in, we tend to become less comfortable moving through the world. We can’t hear the sounds in the environment that let us know when to move out of the way or pay attention. This creates a sense of unease when we’re out and about, and tends to promote a smaller area of activity and less mobility in general.
Hearing aids help us to feel comfortable wherever we go, knowing that we can hear the sounds that give us our cues to react. They also help us communicate more easily with strangers and loved ones, alike, which helps us to feel more confident and independent!