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Tips for Hiking with Hearing Aids
After wearing hearing aids for just a few weeks, most people are well-adjusted to the difference they make in routine settings and environments. On the other hand, outdoor activities like hiking may pose more of a challenge with the need for additional protection and optimization in a more complex environment. The good news is with a little guidance and practice you can learn to enjoy those favorite outdoor hobbies just as freely as you used to while hearing even better than before. Follow these tips for overcoming the challenges of hiking with hearing aids.
Moisture and humidity
One of the first concerns for hearing aids during almost any outdoor activity is an increased exposure to harmful moisture through atmospheric humidity and sweat. If you frequently participate in outdoor activities and are prone to heavy sweating, you may want to choose a hearing aid that has the least amount of contact with your skin and hair. Some hikers also suggest investing in special sweat-protective ear gear.
Hiking also introduces you to the chance of rain. Always be sure to pack or wear a rain hat that protects your ears, just in case.
If you hike a lot, you’ll also need to experiment with sound settings until you figure out what works best for your favorite locations. Many people find that turning the microphone up while cranking down noise reduction settings results in a better hiking experience. If you’re not sure which adjustments to play with, ask your hearing instrument specialist to customize your hearing aid settings based on the hiking area’s conditions.
For those who like to hike with a partner, outdoor communication can be another challenge with hearing aids. Customizing your settings for an outdoor environment will help, but some hikers suggest special wireless devices which allow your partner to wear a lapel microphone synced to your hearing aids. If you like to lead hikes, another solution is to have your hearing instrument specialist help you set up your hearing aid microphone in a ‘backward’ direction.
There are sure to be more tricks and tips you’ll learn along the way. Keep in mind that hearing aids might present new challenges to old activities, but there’s always a solution. Your hearing devices are never an inconvenience – they improve your hearing, and that’s the most important thing of all.