How We Chose the Best Hearing Aids for Active Lifestyles
If you enjoy staying active, it’s important to choose a hearing aid that can keep up. To help narrow down your choices, we’ve compiled a list of the best hearing aids for an active lifestyle. We evaluated criteria like pricing, battery life, streaming capabilities, sweat-resistance, and ease of use.
Tips for Wearing Hearing Aids While Exercising
Wearing hearing aids while exercising makes working out safer and more enjoyable. You can more easily hear your surroundings, directions from your exercise instructor, and conversations. Plus, if you get a pair with Bluetooth streaming, you can listen to music while you exercise.
Just be sure to follow some precautions to keep your hearing aids in tip-top shape before and after exercising.
Don’t wear hearing aids while swimming
Many modern hearing aids are water-resistant, but none are waterproof. Do not wear hearing aids while swimming or doing any activity that involves your head being submerged in water. It’s also a good idea to wear earplugs when you go swimming to keep water out of your ears. That way, when you put your hearing aids in after a swim, your ears are dry.
Be smart about how you dress
If you wear BTE or RIC hearing aids, certain clothes may interfere with your hearing aids. Hats, helmets, hooded sweatshirts or shirts, sunglasses, and other forms of eye protection can potentially displace your hearing aids as you exercise. Take extra care as you put on or remove these items or articles of clothing.
Use hearing aid accessories
Consider using hearing aid accessories to keep your hearing aids protected as you exercise.
- Hearing aid clips: These clips attach to your clothing and your hearing aids. That way, if your hearing aids get knocked out during a contact sport or when running, they won’t fall to the ground.
- Sweat socks: Also called sweat sleeves or sweat-resistant pouches, sweat socks fit around the case of your BTE hearing aid. They block moisture and sweat from entering the circuitry.
Clean and dry your hearing aids after exercise
After each workout, it’s important to clean and dry your hearing aids. Your particular hearing aid model should come with specific cleaning instructions. Be sure to follow these or to ask your hearing aid provider for tips.
In general, you can use a clean dry cloth and/or a dry box to remove moisture. Hearing aids can sit in a dry box or dehumidifier for 45 minutes up to overnight. You also need to sanitize your hearing aids and remove any dirt and wax. Finally, it’s helpful to shower before putting your hearing aids back in to wash the sweat from your hair and ears.
Choosing a Style of Hearing Aid Based on Your Activity
There are many factors to consider when choosing a hearing aid, including how well it can keep up with your lifestyle. If you spend a lot of time exercising, you might consider choosing a hearing aid that best matches the activities you enjoy. Below we’ll take a look at some recommended styles based on exercise intensity and location.
If you enjoy walking, yoga, or other gentle activities, receiver-in-canal (RIC) and behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids are a good fit. You can wear either style while performing low-intensity exercise with little chance of your hearing aids coming loose. You should have no trouble hearing your yoga instructor or conversation partner while walking.
If you prefer high-impact or high-intensity exercise like running or playing team sports, RIC or BTE hearing aids aren’t the best choice. They’re more likely to fall out of your ears and are more vulnerable to moisture — like sweat. Instead, consider in-the-canal (ITC), completely-in-canal (CIC), or invisible-in-canal (IIC) hearing aids. These smaller styles of hearing aids stay in place better as you run, jump, and make quick movements. They’re also more comfortable to wear with a helmet while batting, biking, or horseback riding.
Although most hearing aids offer some level of wind cancellation, certain styles pick up wind noises more than others, i.e., ITE hearing aids.) If you enjoy running or playing other sports outdoors, consider a different style. Prioritize models that have advanced wind cancellation features.
Any style of hearing aid is compatible with indoor exercise. Focus more on the type of exercise you do indoors when making your hearing aid selection.