Do’s and don’ts for hearing aid wearers this summer

Awareness

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The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently published a long list of summer do’s and don’ts for hearing aid wearers, including the all-important difference between “waterproof” and “water-resistant”. With the summer fast approaching, we’re all looking forward to spending time outdoors and perhaps enjoying time at the beach or around the pool, or even traveling to a far-flung holiday destination. Hearing aid wearers need to be particularly careful with their devices over this time because there are a large number of possible dangers.

Some of the advice in the Sentinel’s article is about high temperatures and, more importantly, sudden changes in temperature. The plastic outer casing of hearing aids can be seriously damaged if exposed directly to intense sunlight for long periods. It is the inner working components of the hearing aids that are most at risk from suddenly moving from very hot places to much cooler ones, such as air-conditioned environments. This is because of moisture condensing inside the device.

It is also very important to remember that there is a fundamental difference between water-resistant hearing aids and truly waterproof devices. Water-resistant simply means that moisture, for instance from sweating, should not affect the device, but this of course does not mean users can dive into a pool wearing their hearing aids. If the aids are submerged, water will get inside through the microphone or other openings, causing permanent damage.

For hearing aid wearers taking a plane, the article advises users to inform security personnel that they are wearing the devices to avoid setting off metal detectors during security checks. The good news is that hearing aids do not need to be switched off during the flight, unlike other electronic devices.

Source: Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

C.S.