Summer Hearing Aid Guide
How to care for hearing aids during the hottest months
We’ve officially entered summer, which brings balmy weather, plenty of sunshine, and more opportunities to be active outdoors. And, here in St. Louis, summer also brings humidity, moisture, and sweat! If you use hearing aids to treat a hearing loss, this season requires a little more care and maintenance for your devices. We believe that treating hearing loss with the use of hearing aids is a crucial part of staying active and pursuing your favorite activities. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you keep your hearing aids functioning at their best this summer. Click here for a comprehensive guide to hearing aid maintenance for all seasons.
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Hearing Aid Travel Tips
Summer is one of the busiest seasons for travel. For those of us with grandkids, it’s a great opportunity to visit the little ones while they’re on summer vacation. Travel during peak season can be stressful, but if you take a few extra steps, it doesn’t have to be!
Before You Go
Make a packing list for your hearing aid accessories and check it twice. If you use traditional hearing aid batteries, we recommend taking an ample supply that will last the duration of your trip. If you use rechargeable hearing aids, make sure you’ve got your charging station packed. Depending on the length of your journey, you may want to consider a portable charger, just in case you can’t unpack your charging station.
For international travel, make sure you bring the proper electrical adaptor for your devices. If you plan on traveling to a humid climate, it could be useful to invest in a dehumidifying unit.
Schedule an appointment with us at Greentree Audiology for a routine maintenance check. You want to make sure that your devices are functioning at their best for your trip!
Check in with Accommodations
If you’re staying in a hotel for your vacation, contact them about accommodations they have for people with hearing loss. Most hotels offer wake up services and provide options for emergency alerts. If you’re staying with loved ones, be sure to let them know what accommodations you need related to your hearing loss.
Hearing aids are small and shiny, which can catch the attention of kids and pets. Make sure you store your hearing aids in a hard-to-reach place when they are not in use!
On the Road
Airports can be noisy, so to stay abreast of any new gate changes or delays, sign up for emails or texts from the airline. Some public places have hearing loops, which allow you to connect directly with PA systems. Check with us at Greentree Audiology to see if your devices have a telecoil.
Many advanced hearing aids offer Bluetooth technology, which allow you to connect to your smartphone directly. This connection can be helpful when making phone calls in noisy places or while driving.
Tips for Swimming
We all know that hearing aids should never be submerged in water, and we keep that in mind on a day to day basis before we shower. But, for those of us who don’t swim most of the year, that first chance to jump into that crisp cool pool can be so exciting that we forget to remove our hearing aids.
When storing hearing aids at the gym or the swimming pool, make sure they are in a safe, dry place, away from the water. Avoid leaving your hearing aids in the car during the summer months, as the internal temperature of cars can rise alarmingly high. This level of heat could harm your hearing devices.
Whether or not you use hearing aids, ear health is important to maintain in the summer if you plan on swimming. Swimmer’s ear, also known as otitis externa, is an irritating ear infection that occurs if water is trapped in the ear canal. After swimming, make sure that you’ve removed the excess water by jumping up and down a few times with your head tilted.
To prevent swimmer’s ear, use a bathing cap pulled over your ears or swimmers plugs to prevent water from entering the ear canal. If you do experience swimmer’s ear, make sure you visit a doctor immediately for treatment.
Caring for hearing aids during outdoor activities
Summer is a great time to get out there for hiking, cycling, fishing, tending to your garden – you name it! Again, it’s important to make sure your hearing aids are moisture-free and clear of dirt and debris. Bring along a clean, dry cloth to wipe down your hearing aids periodically during strenuous activity.
If you happen to visit a beach this summer, take care to remove your hearing aids before hitting the sand. The small granules of sand could be harmful if they get caught in your devices. Be sure to remove your aids before you apply sunscreen as well, whether it is lotion or spray. The chemicals and oil from sunscreen could be harmful to your devices.
Again, make sure they are stored in a safe, dry place out of direct sunlight. If you’re going camping, make sure you have extra batteries to last the duration of your trip. With rechargeables, a portable charging station can be helpful – especially if you’re really out there in the wild with no electricity!
After a busy day in the sun, remove your hearing aids and clean them with picks, brushes, and soft dry cloth. Remove the battery and leave the battery door open overnight. Even better, invest in a dehumidifying unit, which helps keep your hearing aids dry and free of moisture.
Hearing Aid Technology to Help You Enjoy Summer
When removing and storing your hearing aids at the pool or the beach, you might accidentally misplace your hearing aids. Advanced hearing aids that offer Bluetooth technology to connect to your phone often have a GPS feature, and some manufacturers offer a “Find My Hearing Aid” feature. Before hitting the beach or the hiking trails, make sure you’ve got your hearing aids linked up to your smartphone and the manufacturer’s app downloaded.
If you’re unsure of how to set this up, come talk to us at Greentree Audiology – we’re here to help! On walks or runs, Bluetooth connection means you can stream your favorite jams directly to your hearing aids without the hassle of cords from earplugs or headphones.
Hearing Aid Accessories for Summer
There’s no way to avoid perspiration in the summer, which is why hearing aid “sweatbands” are an awesome invention! These are designed for behind-the-ear models and are designed to fit over the plastic compartment of the device.
They trap moisture before it hits your devices. If you plan on being active with hearing aids on, consider hearing aid “lanyards,” which clip to your devices and make sure they don’t fall out while you’re on a hike, bike ride, or run.
And, to reiterate, moisture is the enemy of your hearing aids! Investing in a dehumidifying unit that you use nightly to dry out your aids can make a world of difference.
When to visit us at Greentree Hearing & Audiology
At Greentree Hearing & Audiology, we’re here to help you hear at your best, no matter the season. If you have questions on hearing aid care or want to bring in your devices for routine maintenance, we’re here to help. We provide comprehensive hearing health services, from hearing tests to hearing aid fittings. Contact us today to learn more.