Many of our patients ask about traveling with hearing aids, especially this time of year. It’s Winter in Buffalo, and many of us look forward to escaping to warmer, sunnier climates! Whether you are taking a quick trip to re-charge, or you’re a snow bird, here are some tips:
Add Hearing Aid supplies to your packing list:
Batteries: While traveling, you may find yourself wearing your hearing aids longer than you normally would, so you may go through batteries quicker. Additionally, if you run out of batteries on vacation, you may not be able to buy new ones easily. It’s always a good idea to bring more than you think you’ll need.
Cleaning kit: Although your normal routine will probably be thrown off while you travel, make sure to bring your cleaning kit and stick to your normal daily cleaning schedule as much as possible. This will help guard against additional wear and tear they may experience as a result of being in new and different locations.
Charging station and charging cable: If you have rechargeable hearing aids, don’t forget your charging station! You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget something so critical to your hearing. If you are traveling internationally, bring a power plug converter so you won’t have trouble keeping your hearing aids charged.
Extra domes and wax guards: Be prepared with everything you need to keep your hearing aids working well. A misshapen dome or clogged wax guard could prevent you from fully enjoying your trip. Bringing extras will ensure you can fix problems as they arise.
Bluetooth accessories: If you use Bluetooth accessories on a regular basis, don’t forget to bring them along too. Accessories like a remote mic can make it easier to talk to flight attendants, airline employees, or others in crowded and noisy environments.
Tips for Flying with Hearing Aids
Wear your hearing aids when you fly. If you know you’re going to be in a challenging listening environment, like an airport and on a plane, you may be tempted to take your hearing aids out altogether. Don’t! First of all, if you wear them, you’ll be less likely to forget them. Second, although air travel may present may difficult environments, you’ll have an easier time if you can hear directions, announcements, and important information.
Keep hearing aid supplies in your carry-on bag. Air travel is full of unexpected delays, layovers, and more. Having your batteries, cleaning kit, and accessories in your carry-on allows you to keep everything close. If problems come up, you can address them with the tools at your disposal, instead of having to wait to access your checked luggage.
Wear your hearing aids through security. Don’t worry, your hearing aids won’t set off the metal detectors or be detected in body scanners. However, just in case, it’s a good idea to tell the security agent that you are wearing hearing aids before you go through a detector or scan. If the hearing devices are detected during security, and you are asked to put them through the x-ray scanner, the x-rays won’t harm the hearing aid components.
Wear your hearing aids during the flight. When the flight staff asks everyone to turn off electronic devices, this mandate does not apply to hearing aids. In fact, wearing your hearing aids during the flight will make it easier to hear your travel companions as well as the flight staff and any on-board announcements. If you do take your hearing aids off during the flight, make sure to put them in your bag or a safe pocket. Do not place them in the seat pocket where you may forget them.
Use visual cues for better comprehension. Airplanes are full of background noise, and can pose a unique challenge, even with the help of hearing aids. In the airport and during your flight, pay special attention to visual cues to fill in parts of speech you may miss due to the challenging environment. And don’t be afraid to ask others to rephrase when you don’t understand or to look at you when they speak.