For National Physical Education and Sports Week, we’re looking at some of the crucial issues around hearing loss and sports. First up is the issue of why you should keep your hearing aids on when playing a sport.
Playing sports is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle, get some exercise, and socialize with your friends. But if you’re an athlete with hearing loss, it’s not always easy to run onto the field or court, since you’ll have to decide whether to wear your hearing aids while you play. You may be concerned they will get lost or damaged, or interfere with your performance. Maybe you’re simply uncomfortable wearing them in front of your teammates. But, as we’ll explore below, you are better off wearing them for many reasons.
A hearing aid is just another piece of equipment
Just as you wouldn’t play football without a helmet or soccer without cleats, hearing aids are essential pieces of equipment you shouldn’t leave behind. They enable you to hear the important sounds you might otherwise miss, such as a coach’s directions, a teammate calling for your attention, or other situational cues that can enhance your athletic performance. Hearing aids also help you maintain balance and spatial awareness, which are essential for your safety and performance..
Keeping hearing aids safe while at play
While hearing aids can improve your performance and help you avoid injuries, how can you keep them protected during the game? With the proper care, precautions, and accessories, you won’t need to worry. If you’re concerned that your hearing aids may fall out while you’re running around, several manufacturers and retailers offer hearing aid headbands or clips that will keep them in place during physical activity.
While you probably already know it’s important to keep your hearing aids dry, most hearing aids today are water-resistant to at least some degree. Although they can tolerate sweat, it’s still a good idea to put them in a dehumidifier at night to dry them out and keep them in proper working order. Alternately, you can wear a sweatband around your head that can do both – help keep your hearing aids in place with the bonus of keeping your hearing aids dry.
Be proud of your hearing aids!
As for being embarrassed about wearing hearing aids? Don’t be. You probably wouldn’t be shy about wearing glasses while playing sports, would you? Or if you pulled a muscle, you wouldn’t think twice about wearing a bandage. So why worry about hearing aids, which can help you hear all the important voices and sounds needed to help you play your best? Considering how discreet even behind-the-ear hearing aid models are these days, it’s unlikely anyone would notice them anyway. And if anyone says something about them, just explain how much they help your performance.
Your hearing loss is probably the last thing you want to think about when playing sports. But if your habit is to remove your hearing aids before a practice or game, you might want to reconsider this approach. Not only can you wear hearing aids when playing sports, but you should!
Stay tuned for our next blog post, focusing on how you can protect your ears and hearing while playing sports.