Looking outside today, I think it might actually be summer! I don’t know about you, but 2022 ranks as one of the longer winters in my memory. Now is finally the time to turn our attention to all the things a Minnesota summer can bring. I’m thinking about outdoor activities. Whether it’s gardening, boating, fishing, or just getting out for a walk, outdoor activities are usually social. So what about people with hearing aids? Outdoors in the midwest can be hot and humid. Everyone knows that water and hearing aids don’t get along well. And with all of that bending and stooping in the garden…won’t my hearing aids fall right off my ear?
As I look back on my almost 30 years in the industry, I’m reminded that there was a time when all of these concerns would be absolutely valid. Hearing aids used to be extremely sensitive to humidity and perspiration. They were not to be worn around water. Retention strategies were not always successful in keeping hearing aids in your ears. And don’t even get me started on wind noise!
Moisture and Hearing Aids
This is one area in which hearing aids have made huge improvements. Moisture coating and improved overall seal in hearing aids have made them much more resistant to humidity and perspiration. Further, improvements in hearing aid dehumidifiers have added another daily level of security for those who are very active or for those living in very humid areas. Submerging hearing aids in water is still not going to go well for hearing aids. Perhaps some day, but for now we’ve come a long way!
Let’s face it. Hearing aids falling out of your ear and getting lost used to be a real bummer. But like many things, we need to realize that hearing aid retention is much improved.
For those wearing custom, in-the-ear devices, improvements in shell design have resulted in near perfect physical fit of hearing aids, resulting in a much higher level of retention. For those patients who are still doubtful, I ask them to shake their head like a dog who has just come out of the water, to see if they can get the hearing aids to fly out. I have yet to have a patient win that challenge, and it always makes both of us laugh.
Folks who have gone the route of small, behind-the-ear hearing aids also have room for optimism, as options for a better fit are coming along every day. Manufacturers have many options of receiver length, depth, and sportslock options, making these hearing aids much more secure than ever. There are also many options when it comes to domes, which can add to hearing aid security.
Historically, patients have been hesitant to wear hearing aids outside, due to either the elements, or for fear of losing their investment. The good news is that improvements in technology have made it possible for those with hearing loss to never miss out on the conversation as hearing aids can be confidently worn almost anywhere!
If you have questions about your hearing or hearing aids, please give us a call at 320.252.0094, look us up online at amdahlhearing.com, or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org