Before You Depart

First, you'll need to make sure you have all the accessories you need for your trip, per the checklist below.

Checklist for a vacation with hearing aids

  • Spare batteries or a rechargeable battery unit with an adapter. You don't want your hearing aid dying and leaving you without one of your senses on the trip. 
  • Spare filters.
  • Case for safe transportation. 
  • Dry box and drying capsules to guard against moisture. 
  • A cleansing kit to keep your hearing aid clean. Should include spray, cloth, tablets, and an air puffer.
  • Hearing protection plugs for sleeping, swimming, and flying, as you won't always be able to have your hearing aid in. 
  • (Optional) Remote control and spare batteries. 
  • (Optional) A smartphone that's compatible with your hearing aid. 
  • (Optional) Light and vibration alarm to avoid sleeping in on the day you leave.
  • Hearing aid check with a professional audiologist to make sure your hearing aid is in working order before your trip.

Flying With Hearing Aids

It all starts with airport security. 

Your next challenge is the journey itself, starting with airport security. The good news is that there are no problems associated with hearing aids during airport security checks, and you can even keep them in when going through a body scanner. That said, we recommend turning down the volume as a precaution and informing the security staff about your hearing aid.

Once you're past the gates and on the plane, you're faced with your next challenge. There's a noise level of approximately 85 dB in the cabin during flight, as loud as a lawnmower or busy street. Additionally, pilot and crew announcements are often unclear, which can easily become stressful.
The good news is that you can use your hearing aids as normal during the flight. You may still choose to for comfort's sake, to preserve battery life, or in the event that you want to rest during your trip. The drawback, of course, is that you may be unable to hear instructions from airline staff.  

The biggest issue you'll have to deal with when flying involves pressure equalization. If your ears do not automatically adjust during takeoff and landing, you run the risk of earache, and in extreme cases, barotrauma, which can cause ringing in the ears and dizziness.
Consider yawning, swallowing, chewing gum, or something called the Valsalva maneuver, which involves pinching your nose and blowing air into it with as much force as you can muster.

Typical Summer Vacation Risks for the Ears

There are a lot of things that can potentially damage your ears (and by association, your hearing aid) while you're on vacation.

Moisture can cause inflammation in your ears, particularly when combined with wind and dust. It can also, as you might expect, cause damage to your hearing aid. When drying ears, always do so thoroughly with a tissue and your finger, and shake out any excess by gently tilting your head and tapping on your temple or jumping. you can also use a hairdryer but avoid cotton buds.
Swimming at the beach represents one of the biggest risks of damaging your hearing aid. Sand and dust can clog them up, and the moisture, sun, and heat can make matters even worse. Before swimming, always remove your hearing aids and put them in their storage box. 

Sun and heat. Don't leave your hearing aid in the sun. Severe heat can be as damaging to your electronics as moisture. 
Diving places extreme stress on your hearing, and doing so improperly risks not only an earache but serious trauma. In particular, do not dive if you have a cold, do not use cotton buds to clean your ears, and when diving down, concentrate on pressure equalization. Avoid using nasal sprays before diving, and rinse your ears with lukewarm fresh water after diving.

What to Do If Your Hearing Aid Gets Wet or Damaged

If your device gets damp or wet, whether from a rain shower on a bike ride a spontaneous swim in the sea, or simple forgetfulness in the shower, don't panic.  There's a good chance that, if you're quick enough, it will still work after it's dried off. But you need to act immediately.
  1. Turn off your hearing aid immediately. 
  2. Remove any batteries and dry thoroughly with a cloth.
  3. In the event that the hearing aid came into contact with saltwater or wastewater, rinse it with clean water.
  4. Shake all of the water out of the hearing aid. Leave the battery compartment open when you do this. 
  5. Dry the hearing aid for a couple of hours on a piece of paper in a warm, dry place. Keep the battery compartment open, and do not leave it in the sun. 
  6. If available, a special hearing aid dehumidifier would be an ideal alternative.

Enjoy Yourself!

Your summer vacation should be a time of rest and relaxation. If you're constantly on-edge about your hearing aid, it can't be. Fortunately, by bringing the right accessories and ensuring you understand the basics of caring for your device, you can focus on simply enjoying yourself, and on having a carefree vacation with your hearing aid. 

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