Sleeping With Your Hearing Aids

Garfi-SleepingIs there anyone who keeps their hearing aids on at all times, even to bed, except when you go swimming or take a bath or shower?

I know a few who do, and they will never take off their hearing aids when they go to bed. Why? Some of them told me that it is because they are afraid of not being able to wake up or hear their alarm or if something were to happen. For one of them, something traumatic happened in the past while she was sleeping and she did not wake up, because she did not hear it (did not have her hearing aids on at the time).

Although some people have their reasons for keeping their hearing aids on at all times, this concerns me. I would be concerned if one of my students did this. I do not like the idea of being super dependent on hearing aids. It concerns me when some people get very frightened by the idea of not wearing their hearing aids or if their hearing aids were to go out and they had no batteries on them. If my hearing aid went out, I would be annoyed, but I would not freak out and feel helpless.

I can think of a number of reasons why we should not have to wear our hearing aids at all times or when we go to bed:
  • First of all, our ears could use some rest from wearing hearing aids. I repeatedly take breaks from wearing my hearing aid. I look forward to resting quietly and letting my ear breathe. I would compare it to taking my shoes off when I get home. It is more comfortable for me to take off my hearing aid if I want to relax or do something that does not require listening. 
  • I would think that wearing hearing aids all of the time would cause discomfort and can be unhygienic. Think about how much moisture your hearing aid collects throughout the day, especially if it is a hot and humid day causing you to sweat. If you don't give your hearing aids and ears a chance to air out, the hearing devices can get moist and can cause more wax build up. I imagine my ear canal becoming a mini moist cave of various bacteria if not cleaned and aired out frequently. Sometimes hearing aids can cause blisters or sores from repeated use, if the hearing aid is not cleaned properly or maintained properly.
  • Wearing hearing aids at all times, especially to bed, can cause more wear and tear to the hearing aid causing it not to last as long. Hearing aids are fragile and expensive little devices and they should be treated as such. Would you sleep with your new laptop?
  • Batteries would not last as long if the hearing aid is repeatedly used. 
What do you think? Do some of you sleep with your hearing aids on? If not, do you wear your hearing aids at all times, even when you are at home or by yourself not listening to anything?

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*Photo from Flckr 

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