Hearing aids, for the nearly 4.7 million adults between the ages of 20 and 69 across the country who wear them on a daily basis, can be a real lifesaver. Not only do they help you stay active, they help with your mental acuity and more.
But since hearing aids are in the ears pretty much all the time, it can be difficult to wear hearing protection to prevent further damage.
Working While Wearing Hearing Aids – Protecting Your Ears
Construction workers and others who work in noisy environments are faced with a difficult problem – should they wear hearing aids on the job and risk damaging their ears further, or do they forgo the hearing aids and risk a lack of situational awareness that could cause serious harm?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have any regulations on the books dealing with hearing aids, but all workers who operate under OSHA’s purview must follow their guidelines regarding hearing protection.
That means that anyone wearing hearing aids must use ear protection when working in a noisy environment but should also consider extra protection since the hearing aid is designed to pick up more sounds. Passive earmuffs – ear protection that does not use electronics to amplify sound – are the best bet for those wearing hearing aids in noisy situations, The combination of the earmuffs and hearing aids can help workers communicate with others while also providing a layer of protection for their ears, though they should speak with a hearing specialist to determine the best combination of hearing enhancement and protection for their personal situation.
Playing sports with hearing aids
Playing sports is a great way to stay active and in shape, but it could cause you some problems with your hearing aids. For instance, if you participate in water sports like swimming or surfing, you may want to remove your hearing aids, that is unless you have one of the waterproof hearing aids that came on the market several years ago.
Contact and combat sports are a different story, however. If possible, you should try to leave your hearing aid in the locker room when you play sports like football or hockey, or if you participate in sports like boxing or wrestling, because there is a good chance that your hearing aid will break from the rougher nature of these sports. A damaged hearing aid could also spell more trouble for your ears, leading to punctured eardrums or ear deformities if you take a hit on the ear with your hearing aids in.
Performing Everyday Activities with Hearing Aids
Believe it or not, the simple act of maintaining your home could have an impact on your hearing aids. Activities like mowing the lawn, getting rid of leaves, and using snow blowers all produce noises in decibels loud enough to cause hearing damage. When you do these things while wearing hearing aids, which amplify the sounds going into your ear, you could be in store for some serious trouble.
You should never do any of this type of work without some kind of hearing protection, even if you decide to take out your hearing aids during this time. One thing you should avoid, as well, is the temptation to drown out the noise of these machines with even louder noise from your headphones – in this case, your just adding noise on top of noise, which is terrible for your ears. If you do plan to stay active and take care of your property while wearing your hearing aids, you should speak with a hearing specialist to determine the right setting.
Want some help finding the perfect hearing aid for your lifestyle? Contact a hearing specialist in your area to get the hearing aid that’s right for you.