I have only had my HA for a month. When I am out in the yard-weed whacking, trimming bushes, sweating etc, is it best to remove my HA or protect them the best I can?
To protect your ears from more hearing damage it’s best to put on hearing protection when around loud noise. That would include the weed wacker , blower and mower.
I tend to wear my aids when sweating though I do use a Dry & Store every night.
I just put full earmuffs over the HA’s. The other option is to mute them, but that does not provide as good hearing protection, and I feel more secure with the muffs over them so they don’t get knocked of by brushes or tree branches. My worst nightmare is running over them with my lawnmower!
I’m following this with interest. My audiologist told me to take my hearing aids out whenever I wear ear protection, which I do when mowing the grass, using a power washer, etc. Honestly, I didn’t ask “why” but I’ve assumed that the ear muffs would make for a sweaty environment for the hearing aids. So, I’ve been taking them out.
I should have explained. When I use hearing protection the aids are out.
It is possible that the muffs cause some increased sweat. So far I have not worried about it much. It just seems like the most convenient place to “carry” them when I am in situations when I want them and not want them. I don’t even bother to mute them when putting muffs over them. I do put them in a dryer every night.
I take my aids out and put on earmuffs.
After wearing Surface Headphones over my HA’s at the gym and working up a dripping wet sweat and feeling that I must have dripped sweat from my hair into the microphones because things started sounding muffled until I let everything dry out, I decided I’d take my HA’s out whenever I planned on working up a real sweat, especially while wearing headphones or muffs over my HA’s.
Temperature is another consideration that comes into play. Perhaps if I’d thought more about wearing HA’s outside during Texas summer heat (often > 100 deg F, sometimes > 110 deg F where I am), I might have opted for disposable battery-powered HA’s rather than Li-ion rechargeables, which don’t take extreme heat well. As it is, I take my HA’s out, remove my Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch, and leave my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 phone in the house when I’m planning on working outside for any length of time and it’s over 85 deg F. Especially when I’m working with noisy power tools, e.g., a 1989 John Deere riding tractor, I don’t need my HA’s, my smartwatch, or my phone. I do need foam plugs in my ear canals plus a very good set of noise-reducing ear muffs to avoid further hearing loss. If I need to record the amount of time that I’m using a tool for maintenance purposes, I use an old El Cheapo Timex quality watch that can take the heat. I’m working on shifting my yard work to the early morning hours after 8 a.m. when according to our neighborhood convenant, it’s O.K. to start using noisy powertools and the temperature will still be in the high 70’s to low to mid 80’s.
Another reason for removing my HA’s is that in spite of the heat, we’ve got hordes of mosquitoes. So I apply Deep Woods OFF!, which is something like 25% DEET. DEET can degrade many plastics. So removing my HA’s lessens the chance that somehow I’ll manage to degrade my HA bodies or wires through DEET contamination.
I’m new to HAs and find mine very annoying when I’m dripping in sweat. It seems to me that the sweat runs out of my hair and down the speaker wire right into my ears. Can’t handle it. I take mine out if I am working outside here in TX. I bought a quart sized package of silica gel on fleabay for really cheap. I have a cigarette package sizes amount in a pouch in my HA box that I store them in nightly. I rejuvinate the beads as needed or replace when they wear out. The beads are color changing (orange/green) so I know when to change them.
I’m a runner and also love being outside doing the lawn, etc… I used to keep my HAs in during these activities, but after 2 yrs or less they would rust up the internal mechanisms. I was able to extend the use of them for a short time by cleaning them myself.
Now I take them out when doing anything where they might get salty sweat on them. I’m told the salt crystals mess up the electronics of the HAs. I also use a dry & Store at night.
My HA’s last longer now.
I never wore my Phonaks when working in the yard or garage. January marked 7 years of use (admittedly not every day, or full days from the time I got up until I went to bed), and they are still working well (I did have to have one receiver replaced about a year ago) and are now my back-up set. I have worked in climate controlled environments my whole life and hate the hot weather, so I might be more of an exception rather than an average user.
Sierra, I have experienced that nightmare! I was trialling Phonak HAs and the first time I went to use my electric mower I thought, " Should I remove them ?" but I decided to see if perhaps noise cancelling would work for my, not to noisy, electric mower.
I had finished the lawn cutting and about an hour later put my hand to my right ear and realised there was no HA there anymore.
With a sickening feeling, I recalled feeling my hair momentarily tangled in a small branch of a shrub whilst backing the mower through a gap in the shrubbery. By this time it was dusk and my wife and I grabbed a flashlight each and frantically searched the area under the shrub. After a minute or so i spotted a tiny sliver of plastic in the light beam and then a tiny fragment of what I guessed was once a battery. That was all we found.
Luckily, after initially forgetting to arrange insurance I had been prompted to organise insurance cover
just a few days before and so the financial blow was minimised. but the trial was delayed for several weeks while the return of a single left ear HA and repayment was negotiated .
Not surprisingly, I do not recommend wearing HAs for yard work.
If high humidity or heat or if you sweat a lot doing yard work I’d suggest removing your hearing aids so they stay dry. Better safe than sorry. But when cutting grass with lawn tractor or even hand walking, just turn your aids off and go about your work. Same with a chain saw, weed whacker, etc. With HA turned off you have good hearing protection when working with loud equipment. Case solved.
Lots of good comments on this thread. I think in the end, it might come down to your personal preference. I use my hearing aid all the time due to my hearing condition.
To give you some background, I was in a car wreck several years ago, and when the side air bag went off, the “explosion” (the firing of the explosive used to deploy the air bag) was close to my ear, and it severely damaged the hearing in that ear – the hearing in that ear is lower than normal, but if the sound is above a certain level, it suddenly jumps and is very painful. The hearing aid I have (Oticon OPN1) works very well for me, as it not only bumps up the volume of certain frequencies, but it drops the volume if the incoming sounds are too loud. Thus, I can hear better plus loud noises don’t cause me pain.
Given the above, I wear my hearing aid all the time, especially when I’m doing outside work or am around loud equipment (lawn mower, chainsaw, snow blower, power tools, etc) – I wear the hearing aid AND hearing protection (earmuff thingies) at the same time. Yes, the hearing aid may get sweaty, but my ear/hearing is better protected, so it’s worth it to me.
As a side note, every night I put the hearing aid in a sealed container with some descant, and that seems to work well (haven’t have any problems in 2.5 year).
Hope this helps.
Best to remove. When mine get wet they sometimes go down and have to replace receivers which I can do,. When they dry out they come back to life. You should be using a dryer/ antiseptic device $40 at Costco.
Heat and humidity/moisture are the natural “enemy” of electronics. Those HAs are too damn expensive to risk so just take 'em out and leave them indoors when doing yard work.
I use mine whenever I need them. I just turn the volume all the way down. At night they go in a dryer box for cleaning. Lux Perfect Dry.
Whenever I do sweaty work, I sometimes rely on my Ear Gear for protection. These spandex little socks for hearing aids are quite cheap and do afford some protection.
However, they can and do get soaked if very sweaty so then I resort to wearing sweat bands like tennis players and other sports wear. Placed around my head so they sit between my head and my aids, they soak up sweat before they touch my aids.
In extreme cases, I’ll take them off but I hate not being able to hear or be aware of my surroundings while I work.
For me, the head bands work the best and is the cheapest, simplest option. I can change them when soaked or dirty and they are easily washable.
I think they are rather spendy little items…but I have run into trouble with sweat. And that’s using headbands too. I prefer to keep the aids in, but right now they are dead…sent off to be redone…in part I think to that very thing…sweat.
Agreed that DEET and hearing aids would not be a good combo!