As an audiologist at Alabama Hearing Associates, I work with many new hearing aid users. I love this part of my job because I get the privilege of guiding someone as they begin a new chapter in their life.

Yet, my patients are frequently concerned about the impact hearing aids will have on their lifestyle. This is particularly true of athletes and fitness buffs who fear their devices will be damaged while playing sports.

It’s a delight to see how pleased they are when I explain as long as they’re not playing a water sport, hearing aids always should be worn during sports.

Why You Should Use Your Hearing Aids While Playing Sports

Communication is part of the game when you’re playing team sports. Your coach and teammates are relying on you to react to the information they give you.

It’s difficult to give your team your best effort when you’re missing the sounds of what’s going on around you. Wearing your hearing aids also keeps you connected to the social aspect of playing team sports.

Hearing aids can be thought of as safety devices for solo athletes. Their devices help them stay aware of their surroundings. When you’re running, jogging, or biking alone, knowing what’s happening around you is a must.

Prevent Problems with the Right Gear

Athletes tend to be worried their hearing aids may fall off during the game. The potential for damage from sweat is another common concern. Having the right gear can help prevent these problems.

A hearing aid clip has an end you attach to your device while you clip the other end to your clothes. If your hearing aid comes off while playing, the hearing aid clip will keep it attached to your clothing.

Wearing your hearing aids with a traditional sweatband makes them less likely to become dislodged during sports. Although many hearing aids are moisture-resistant, a standard sweatband can still keep moisture out of the hearing aids.

Also, there are hearing aid sweatbands on the market that are meant to be worn with behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids.

Remember to take extra batteries along. No one wants to lose their ability to communicate in the middle of the big game.

How to Perform Postgame Hearing Aid Care

After the game or practice, use a puffer to remove moisture from tubing and hearing aids. At the end of the day, use the cleaning tools that came with your hearing aids to remove debris from your devices.

Storing your hearing aids in a dry box (also known as a hearing aid dehumidifier) overnight is a good idea. A dry box removes moisture from the devices.

Some hearing aid dehumidifiers sanitize your devices too. Your hearing aids will be ready for another day of play when you wake up in the morning.

If you or a loved one wants to discuss hearing aid options or have any hearing-related concerns, don’t hesitate to contact Alabama Hearing Associates. We would be happy to help.

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Dr. Jan Liles

Dr. Liles earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Montevallo and her master’s degree from the University of Alabama. From 1991 to 2001, she worked with two ENT medical practices and initiated one of the first newborn hearing screening programs in the state. In 2002, she was awarded a doctorate in audiology from the University of Florida. Dr. Liles and her longtime best friend, Dr. Sheehy, founded Alabama Hearing Associates in January 2002.
    Basic Hearing Test

    A basic hearing test begins with an air conduction test. You will be seated in a soundproof booth and single-use, foam earphones will be inserted into your ear canals. The Audiologist will ask you to push a button or raise your hand when you barely hear a series of beeps (tones) presented at various frequencies (pitches) to obtain your air conduction thresholds.

    To determine whether your hearing loss is a conductive (mechanical) loss, sensorineural (permanent) loss or combination of the two, we perform a bone conduction test.  

    For this test, a head band is place on the bone behind one of the ears to obtain your bone conduction thresholds. This process provides a different form of sound transmission using vibration, which bypasses the eardrum and the middle ear bones and directly stimulates the auditory nerve. When you hear the beeps/tones, you will push a button or raise your hand.

    If bone conduction thresholds are better than air conduction thresholds (through the foam inserts), you have a conductive hearing loss. This suggests a problem with the mechanical structures (moving parts) of the ears.

    Conductive hearing loss is often a medically treatable condition for which we will provide you with a referral to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) physician. However, if bone and air conduction thresholds match, it indicates a sensorineural hearing loss (permanent), and the treatment will likely involve hearing aids.



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