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If you are like most people with hearing loss, when you think about traveling, you envision a world of hassle. From struggling to hear over the chatter of fellow passengers on public transit to trying to have a conversation in a crowded restaurant or bar, there is a lot about travel that can frustrate and confuse those with hearing loss.
When you’re at home, it’s usually quiet, and you can keep everything you need in one place, so using your hearing aids can be easy and enjoyable. When you leave your home, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to make sure your hearing stays in good shape.
We asked our team what they tell patients who are going abroad, some of the things they told us.
Packing for your trip
Here are some essentials to pack with you.
- Charger or extra batteries: Even though hearing aid batteries are available everywhere, you may not be able to count on the same level of quality when you travel. Putting batteries in a battery caddy or blister pack is a great way to travel with them. Or, you could try rechargeable hearing aids.
- Cleaning supplies: Just like when you’re at home, you should take care of your hearing aids when you’re on vacation or away from home. People tend to be more active when traveling than at home, so they often need more care when they’re away.
- Wax guards and extra domes: Have everything you need to keep your hearing aids in good shape. Your trip might not be as fun if the dome is the wrong shape or the wax guard is clogged. If you bring extras, you can fix problems as they come up.
- Bluetooth accessories: Don’t forget to bring your Bluetooth accessories if you use them often. Accessories like a remote mic can make it easier to talk to flight attendants, airline employees, or other people in noisy, crowded places.
At the airport
There are no problems with hearing aids and airport scanners. Most people can wear their hearing aids through body scanners. The electronic parts of a typical hearing aid are so small that a metal detector doesn’t often pick them up. Some patients also like to turn down the volume at this point for comfort, but it’s up to them.
Don’t forget to tell the TSA agent if you go through a body scanner. If they are found, they may ask you to take them out.
On the plane
Even if your digital hearing aids are wireless, you can leave them on and use them while you’re in the air. Hearing aids can be used on board all domestic flights. If you have any questions, contact your airline ahead of time!
When you get on the plane, the noise level is about 85dB, which is about the same as a busy street. This can make it hard to hear the flight attendants, but you can still wear your hearing aids. Some people choose to take out their hearing aids on the plane so that the batteries will last longer.
At your destination
Beware of humidity!
Moisture in hearing aids can cause dirt and debris to build up on microphones and other parts, making them hard to clean. If it’s warm, you might want to buy a drying box to keep your hearing aids from getting wet or sweaty. You can then leave your hearing aids in the box overnight. Some hearing aids can handle water better than others, but our team can help you figure out what you can and can’t do when traveling or living in a hot place.
Watch out at the beach
Some hearing aids can encounter trouble at the beach if you don’t take care. The basic rule is to take them off before swimming and use common sense at the beach. The sensitive microphones should be covered, and sand can block the filters, making it hard for you to hear as well as possible.
If you are considering going abroad and are worried about how safe your hearing aids will be, please don’t hesitate to call our friendly team!