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Question: Is it safe to wear hearing aids in a noisy environment—such as using a lawnmower, leaf blower or snow blower—or is it better to take them off and use ear plugs or headphones for protection? Answer: One of the most important things you can do to prevent further hearing loss is to protect your

Answer:

One of the most important things you can do to prevent further hearing loss is to protect your ears. Here’s my advice for when you are in a potentially noisy environment:

1) Resist the temptation to take off your hearing aids and do your activity unprotected. Just because you can’t hear a sound or it’s not loud to you, doesn’t mean it won’t inflict additional damage. What’s comfortable to you vs. what’s comfortable to a person with normal hearing may be radically different, but loud sounds can still be dangerous to your hearing.

2) Protect your ears with ear plugs or protective headphones. Whether you are working in your yard or shop or enjoying a recreational activity such as hunting, be careful not to contribute to your hearing loss by failing to protect your hearing properly. This is true for everyone, but especially for people with hearing loss. It’s just like someone who has injured a knee; they are at a much higher risk for reinjury vs. someone who hasn’t.  Moreover, a person with hearing loss is more susceptible to additional damage if there is unnecessary exposure.

3) Keep your hearing aids safe. You should remove your hearing aids even when wearing protective headphones. This will protect your investment from the sweat, dust, and debris that is often associated with physical activities.

In brief, it’s much easier to protect the hearing you have than risk additional loss when it can be easily prevented.