HA’s & gardening - where not to wear hearing aids

Hi all,

Just wondering when I get my aids, where I should and shouldn’t wear them. Obviously the shower is a no no. What about when gardening?

Sweat, heat, dirt, a hat that might rip them out, tools and branches flying around, it all seems a bit risky. But this would be a bummer. When I garden now, I quite often have my iphone in my pocket and listen to music with earbuds. Doesn’t always work well as the cord keeps catching and pulling them out of my ears. Streaming to hearing aids would be much better, but I don’t want to risk damaging them.

Do others wear their aids while gardening? What other situations is it best to leave them out of?

Thanks. Russell.

Wear them whenever you’re awake – and not in the shower or swimming :wink: The more you use them, the better your brain will get at recognizing sounds as normal. Good luck!
-kate.

I don’t wear them, and use hearing protection instead, when I’m using power equipment like mower, string trimmer, or leaf blower.

I asked my audiologist that question and her recommendation was “just don’t wear them when you’re working in the yard.” She surmised I’d be alone much of the time not talking or actively listening to sounds or, from what I told her, wearing gun muffs to block the sound of noisy power tools. Part of my question to her is that ReSound recommends Sports Locks - add-on clips to secure the HA’s for people with “more active lifestyles(!).” She didn’t bite at my suggestion that I might need the Sports Locks for working outdoors and for the Quattro rechargeables, Sports Locks, which take some doing putting on and off the HA’s I guess, make it trickier to get the rechargeables into the charging unit.

It’s an interesting thought relatively to @HOHKate’s remark, how much time to you actually have to be listening through HA’s to keep your brain “trained?!” You can be a superb athlete and you don’t have to train 24x7. Also, when you sleep (without HA’s), your brain is listening all the time - you can awake another sleeper by making noise - but maybe one can say the speech centers are turned off then and not being “hurt” from not wearing HA’s while asleep. I don’t think an hour, two, or three a day while awake not wearing your HA’s and not trying to process speech without them is going to be the end of the world, especially if your hearing loss is relatively moderate and you’ve understood close to normal speech (if loud enough) without the HA’s.

Relative to my previous remark elsewhere on exposing HA’s to heat, particularly for the sake of the Li-ion batteries in Quattro rechargeables, I am glad to have an audiologist excuse note not to wear the HA’s if I go out for some time to work in the 105 deg F Texas summer heat. I have similarly also taken to leaving my cell phone indoors when I am working in the yard now that batteries are irreplaceable (or only replaceable with special expense). The Quattro rechargeable manual says the following:

The operating temperature range for the charger and the hearing aids is 0 °C - 40 °C/ 32 °F - 104 °F.

Most recommend not to charge Li-ion batteries below 55 deg F. My Microsoft Surface PC manual says not to use the device above 95 deg F. I try to stay between 55 deg F and 80 deg F with Li-ion powered devices and to maximize the long-term lifespan of a battery, if I store a Li-ion device I try to store it at 40% to 50% charge state, checking the charge periodically (many batteries self-drain a few % a month) at less than 80 deg. Keeping a Li-ion device at a high charge state or a low charge state is bad for the long-term lifespan of the battery.

OOPS – didn’t mean to suggest they should be worn while sleeping. And yes, I also don’t wear them when using power tools. Just meant that the more you use them, the better you/your brain will adapt to the “different” hearing experience they provide.

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@HOHKate Hi! I didn’t mean to criticize your suggestion to wear them all the time and you were clear on taking them out while sleeping. Just wanted to open the question as to how much you really do need to wear them a day, if training 4 hours a day at the gym can make you a super-duper muscle-bound athlete, how many of your waking hours would you really need to keep your brain tuned up to HA-corrected speech? That’s all I meant to suggest. Also, maybe people who have studied multi-lingualism (or just bilingualism) could have some input here, i.e., your brain knows more than one language, kinda akin to hearing with two different types of input. How many hours a day or a week to you have to use one language not to loose your proficiency in it?

Good question jim, and does age affect how quickly your brain adjusts as well?

Oddly enough, one of my concerns of taking them off when working outside is losing them. I’m terrible at wandering around with things in my hand, then putting them down and 10 seconds later, forgetting where I’ve put them. I’ve even been known to quite regularly wander around looking for something, only to realise it’s been in my hand the whole time…

best thing is when you require to listen use as HA then mute it and use as silent earplug when you do not want to hear noise(non interested speech is also noise) and do not wear while sleeping why to wast batteries?

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I have the Sport Locks on my Forte. My very first trial HAs had them and I liked the security. One has to remove domes to install them, I just leave them on all the time. I change glasses frequently from computer glasses to my regular glasses to sunglasses, many times each day. Taking glasses off tends to lift the HAs and could flip them off. I also wear a hat outside, but take it off and put it on often, and that rubs them. Also as a bicyclist, the helmet strap hit HAs. The Sport Locks add a bit more fiddle when putting the aids in, but i grab them to pull the receivers out when getting ready for bed. They tend to knock each other around when in the tight space when placing them in the UV dryer at night, but a very minor issue to me. I like them.

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Some HA’s have a “Find My HA’s” feature in the app where presumably the phone uses BT homing to let you figure out where your HA’s are.

I’ve definitely become more forgetful and more easily distracted. I’ve had a few incidents where I have ABSOLUTELY no memory of something I just did 5 minutes earlier so in a worst possible case scenario, I could be showing early signs of Alzheimer’s or some other dementia.

But I’ve found consistency in placing things is the most important guide. “A place for everything and everything in its place.” So if I realize that I’m put something down “out of place,” my brain now sounds a mental alarm “that’s trouble ahead” and if I have some reason for doing that temporarily, I make a strong mental note - or maybe even a physical note, to put X back in its place when I’m done with it. It helps tremendously. So always have a place to keep your HA’s when you go out into the yard and that may do the trick for you.

I’ve also found physical structure in placement in the house helpful in creating visual reminders. I have a number of pills a day I’m supposed to take, some in the morning, some in the evening, some at both times. By moving some of the bottles around to different shelves, I’ve created a visual reminder that can’t easily be messed up or rearranged of whether I’ve taken the morning set of pills, the evening set of pills for that day, etc. (I also keep a checklist in an electronic To-Do list but I’ve found physically rearranging the pill bottles a more successful reminder and I don’t like counting out pills to put in pill boxes, etc.). Same for taking pills out of individual bottles. I move the bottles as I use them and view the pattern of all the pills out on the counter ready to take. There is actually a name for this technique in home organizer manuals but I’ve forgotten what it’s called!!! It’s basically using spatial localization to remind you, help you keep track, etc.

Yeha the Opn’s do have a “find my hearing aid” function, forgot about that, but I don’t want to use that as a crutch or I’ll get even worse. I mentioned in another thread I was thinking of designing a custom storage box for my aids & accessories for my 3D printer. That may be a good prompt for me to always put them in that case when not wearing, and it’d be a lot bigger and harder to lose.

You’ve just given me an idea for another forum thread. I wonder will I get in trouble for spamming soon??

I think the word that I’m thinking of when applied to spatial organization is “autofocus” - perhaps only encountered in somebody’s time management/organization book that I read once upon a time. The word “autofocus” has also been adopted by a guy name Mark Forster for a paper-based list system to tracking tasks - but that’s not the usage I’m thinking of. An example of “autofocus” in the realm of spatial organization would be if you want to change your HA batteries when you get home, you simply leave the battery pack somewhere where you’ll be sure to see it when you get home - no need to find your To-Do list and make an entry. Seeing the HA battery pack lying your bed will remind you that you want to change the batteries.

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A few years ago, 30 of us spent over 4 hours trying to find a neighbor’s hearing aid in the yard. We succeeded. After this experience, I personally wouldn’t wear a hearing aid while doing yard or gardening work, but I’m also not profoundly deaf without a hearing aid. So, it kindof depends on where you are on the spectrum. Definitely, when using power tools or lawnmower, you want to shut them down.

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Did the HA have a “Find My HA” function in the hearing aid app? I must “lose” one of my HA’s and see how that function works in the app to find out how well it works before I manage to really lose it. Haven’t hiked much in recent years but when I did go hiking, I enjoyed the sounds in the woods, gurgle of streams, birds calling, and all that. So if “Find My HA” is any good, that would be encouraging sign for taking my HA’s off into the woods and not overly worry that a brush against a branch in passing is going to be an expensive disaster.

P.S. My Quattro’s seem to have the Sports Lock attached to the receiver wires, too. I don’t quite understand how that works but it’s supposed to provide an extra measure of “ear security” for “active” people - if you can call a 73-year old codger “active!” I am not out there rushing to the net playing tennis!

It’s pretty hard to beat this story in the ReSound Blog for finding lost HA’s:

To use the Find My HA’s feature of the ReSound 3D app, you’d best have high-accuracy GPS turned on on your phone, then always run BT connectivity to the HA’s and have the HA’s on themselves. Your phone app will keep a record of GPS locations where you were last connected to your HA’s - the last place they were “seen.” Then if you go back to that location, there is also a “local” BT signal strength indicator at the bottom of the Find My HA’s app page. If you are within about 10 m (33 ft or so) of the HA’s location, you’ll get a reception indicator that grows stronger in strength as you move closer, weaker as you move away for each HA. Kinda like “You’re getting hot, hotter!” game. Of course, if your HA batteries die, you won’t be able to use the local, immediate area BT signal strength indicator.

It’s good to know about this feature. Alas, useless to me since I don’t have a smartphone. Thanks for the tip though.

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