Using HAs with power tools and tractors

I guess this will sound somewhat oxymoronic but I use power tools and equipment a lot–really noisy stuff. Most weekends I have a pair of ear protectors around my neck from dawn to dusk–they are in and out of my ears constantly. Since my recruitment really makes any loud sounds uncomfortable I use my plugs more than a “normal” person would. Around our little hobby farm I’m constantly using mowers, my tractor, and woodworking machinery.

This week I will get my first set of HAs (Futures from Costco) and I’m a bit puzzled how to fit them into this loud noise protection habit I’ve developed. I could just leave them out all weekend but then I’ll have the usual frustration of understanding conversation in between nailing, cutting, sawing, tractoring, etc. I could keep them in my pocket and be constantly putting them in and out of my ears. I could try over-the-ear protectors but it seems doubtful that they would fit around the HAs?

those of you who work with loud equipment or tools, how do you handle blocking loud sounds while relying on HAs for conversation?

I use muff type protectors.

I bought a set of Bilsom™ Impact. They are amplified so that act act as amplifieres until the sound reaches a certain point then they act as protectors.

I have no commercial interest in this company.

I use either Peltor’s muff style radio noise suppressors or the Ryobi Tek 4 noise suppressors, both can be purchased at Home Depot. The radio style lets you listen to radio and limits the noise to no more than 82 db. The Ryobi has no radio but it suppresses loud noises yet allows you to hear normal conversations with the muffs on! Both work great with HA.

Another good tip a friend of mine (who has worn HA for over 20 years) gave me was to always have a zip lock baggy in your pocket incase you have to take your HA out. You put them in the baggy and you wont loose them as your more likely to do if they are loose in your pocket. This lesson was learned the hard way by him years ago.

I can’t see the extent of your loss, so this may not be helpful to you, but my loss is only mild to moderate. A good piece of it has come from the use of power tools, so I do not want hearing aids in my ears and turned on when I am using power tools. I remove the aids, leave them in a safe place in my home (since I use power tools at home and not on the job), and wear foam earplugs. If I were using them on the job, I would want something like a baggie or pouch as seb suggested rather than keeping them loose in my pocket.

Your audiologist/hearing aid dispenser should be able to set up a mute program. I have that as one of the programs on the Phonak Audeo S Smarts I’m still trialing and it is a separate button on the remote for the Starkey Wi’s I’ll be trying out in a few weeks.

I forgot to say I use the mute program in addition to the noise suppressors. If I’m using a chainsaw, string trimmer or backpack blower I take the aids out and put them in the baggy and then use the ear muffs.

thanks to all. Very helpful advice. I don’t want to leave them in the house because my typical weekend is interspersing working with noisy stuff (especially noisy to me now) and having conversations. My loss is moderate to severe at HF so conversations get harder adn harder. But being able to put my muff-style protectors over my HAs and mute their mic will work fine I think. I’ll take a pair along on Sat to Costco so the audiologist can see what happens.