His knowledge in communication disorders has helped a wide range of patients, including both adults and children with hearing loss. He provides screenings, hearing tests, aural rehabilitation and has an extensive knowledge of both conventional and digital hearing instruments.
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As the temperature rises and we head for the beach, new challenges arise for hearing aids. Here are some useful tips to help you take care of your hearing aids and your hearing through the summer warmth.
Beware of the effect of the heat of the sun on your hearing aids
In severe heat, the plastic casing of hearing aids can melt. So keep your hearing aids out of direct sunlight – especially when you are not wearing them. You should also avoid leaving them anywhere that might get hot, such as in a car or on a window ledge.
Water Damage in Hearing Aids– Especially saltwater
In the past, older hearing aids were easily damaged by water. So if you have an older model of hearing aid, we recommend you are very careful. Make sure to take them off before getting stuck into any water fights!
Most modern hearing aids, however, are certified to IP68, which means they must be able to survive being submerged under 1.5 metres of water for up to 30 minutes. Nevertheless, it’s best to try to keep them dry because any moisture inside can affect the battery’s electrical contacts, preventing your hearing aids from working.
At the beach, it’s very important to keep all hearing aids safe, dry and free from sand. If they get saltwater inside them, it can dry and leave behind salt crystals that can affect how your hearing aids work. This can also lead to corrosion.
If your hearing instruments do get wet, it’s important to ensure they can ventilate by opening the battery drawers. You should also consider getting a hearing aid dryer.
Keep the sunscreen off your hearing aids!
It’s always a good idea to put sunscreen on your skin in summer, but be careful of your hearing aids. Like many types of plastic, the outer shells of hearing aids can be affected by some of the chemicals that are commonly found in cosmetic and skincare products.
To be safe, our advice is to take off your hearing aids when you slap on the suncream, and then put your hearing aids back on after you’ve cleaned any cream off your hands.
Take spare hearing aid accessories with you on holiday
Your holiday is all about relaxing and enjoying yourself, and hearing well can help you by making many things easier.
Our advice is to make sure you bring with you anything you might need for your hearing aids.
Batteries are perhaps the most important to remember, but what about wax filters – do you have spares?
The accessories you might need will depend on the type of hearing aid you have. You can read more about the different types of hearing aids here.
Summer music concerts can be damaging to your hearing
Open-air concerts are one of the joys of summer. But although the music is not inside four walls, it can still generate high volume levels that can lead to hearing damage.
Remember: If you need to shout so other people can hear you, your hearing is in danger.
And here’s another tip: Take frequent breaks from high sound levels to reduce your continuous exposure.
Finally, consider hearing protection like disposable earplugs. They’re cheap and effective, and are a common sight at even the wildest music festivals.
Clean your hearing aids more often
Since we all sweat a little more in summer, it’s the time of year when hearing aids are more likely to host fungal microbes. These thrive in the warm and damp environment that develops inside hearing aids.
The answer is to clean your devices regularly with disinfectant wipes. These remove any fungal spores and sterilise your devices.
To combat the faster rate of fungal build-up, it can also help to change wax filters and hearing aid domes more frequently.
Good air circulation is also important, so open the battery drawers of your hearing aids at night. This allows fresh air to get inside and allows the old air to get out – taking any moisture with it.
You might also consider investing in a hearing aid dryer if you find high levels of moisture build up, or if you have rechargeable hearing aids that you can’t open at night because they need to charge.
Flying off to the sun can bring ear discomfort
Flying can bring discomfort in the ears and head, which is caused by unequal air pressure. It usually ‘pops’ when the pressure equalises. But if the air pressure can’t equalise due to a blockage in the ears or air passages in the head, the discomfort can be much worse. Blockages can be caused by earwax, inflammation, or a common cold.
So our advice is to ensure your hearing is working well, and get your ears checked out if you suspect a wax blockage. And if you have problems when you’re on the plane, try chewing gum or sucking on a sweet to get your jaw moving and the air passages opening.
Take A Free Hearing Test At Hidden Hearing In Ireland
Here at Hidden Hearing, we understand that it can be very frustrating to live with hearing loss, and we pride ourselves on providing helpful information and advice to our customers. We have excellent digital hearing aids for you to try, which are discreet and effective, and we will help you to get used to living with these.
Hidden Hearing is Ireland’s leading private provider of hearing care solutions, and our national network includes over seventy-five branches and clinics. Contact Hidden Hearing online today, or pop into your local branch this summer.