May 2, 2011

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?


*Photo from Flckr 


  1. I've been meaning to post on your blog, so today's question has given me the perfect opportunity. I am a brand new teacher although I have not gotten my first job as of yet. I am applying to many different places in my area, but the economy is not helping right now as many teachers are holding onto their jobs.
    To answer your question, I do not wear my hearing aids all of the time and I don't think I could wear them to bed and feel comfortable. I would be afraid to lose one in my bed as well. Right now I am using a loaner while I am waiting to find out about financial aid to help me to purchase them, so I would be even more fearful of losing them that way. Plus I have always been afraid of accidentally wearing them in the shower and ruining them.

  2. Any objects on your body need a break or you could develop sores and infections. They should consider vibrating alarm clock listed in harris communication website. In fact, I think every deaf, young or old, should have catalogs for the deaf and hoh so they know what their options are. I never heard of sonic alarm or even a vibrating watch until I was about 24 years old.

    Anyway, this may be helpful too:

  3. I know a few people who wear their hearing aids, and even CIs, while sleeping. I personally cannot sleep with any stimulation including noise, light, vibrations, etc. I never sleep with my devices. I agree with e) that the ear needs a break. If someone is afraid of not being able to hear something, there are devices for that; alarm clocks, fire alarms, break-ins, etc etc. It's just a matter of being able to find a store that sells assistive devices.


  4. Definitely agree. I would never want to sleep with my ears in. Hearing people are at a definite disadvantage of being woken up by annoying noises. Buy a bed shaker and sleep in peace! I have the alertmaster AL10 combo kit that can shake the bed for nearly anything (phone ring, doorbell, baby cry, motion sensor, etc).

  5. I don't wear hearing aids to bed. There were a few exceptions, like maybe when I camped out in Yellowstone, I wore it (just in case) and umm depends where I am like maybe at a hotel and I have to get up early and didn't or forgot to bring or ask for bed shaker. Things like that. But, typically? Nah I don't wear 'em when sleeping.


  6. I don't sleep with my hearing aids and as mentioned here in this post, it's not advisable, as your ears do need a break at some point to allow circulation of air in your ear.

    When I'm on my own at home, I will take it out, but it won't be far away in case I have to pop it in if anyone comes round unexpecetdly.

  7. I hate wearing my hearing aids while I sleep. I've only done it a few times, while camping when I forgot to set up a safe place to put them. I always wake up with achey ears, and I wouldn't want to imagine the sweat and gunk they would accumulate for those extra 8-ish hours a night.

    1. i have pro found hearing aids cant hear but i can feel some thing dont no if you got body worn hearing aids i got two of those and be hine the ear 675 batterys i like my body worn hearing aids when i got it my ear doctor turn up my hearing full power she said i can hear my voics on your ears no feed back but feel good in my ears

  8. Maybe I just sleep strangely, but when I tried sleeping with my hearing aids when I was younger, I was always miserable. I have a habit of laying on my side, making the earmold extremely uncomfortable and causing feedback. The hearing aids most definitely need to be sanitized. I agree, our ears need a break! I can't sleep with any extraneous noise (or light, for that matter).

    I tried sleeping with CI's and I woke up to find mine across the room and all of its components broken apart (they're supposed to be able to come apart, so it's not like I completely destructed it..). It can be dangerous for CI users, as the constant pressure of the magnet can cause the skin to breakdown, creating a hole and infecting the implant.

  9. Liz,
    I've gotta tell you. There are way too many devices out there that can help the deaf or hoh to be cautious, aware, and alerted at certain times. Back in 2006, I was extremely afraid to have my newborn daughter sleeping in her own room, because I was scared that I wouldn't get up to feed her, hear her crying, etc. For her newborn stage, I moved her to my room next to my bed and I used the sonic alert clock, noise sensor, vibrator, doorbell, light flasher all in one type of device to wake me when she cried or at feeding times I would set on the clock. It was extremely helpful. Eventually, my daughter got old enough to sleep through most of the night, and I moved her to her room -- and everything continued to work perfectly fine. Yes, I did and still do have my moments where I'm a little nervous and I double check for breathing and so forth but that's natural. Other than that -- I was fine and I used the same system for my son in 2008. Sometimes things happen and you can't prevent everything, deaf or not. For anyone that may have these issues of relying on HA too much: just be more cautious of your situation, know your surroundings and be considerate of others, but don't do it at YOUR expense to the point where it's unhealthy for you physically and psycologically. And I've been wearing hearing aids on and off for 21 years, but I won't allow a dependency on hearing aids to affect my ability to adapt to certain situations.

  10. I have never worn my aids to bed. I used a alarm clock that vibrated the bed to wake me up in the morning.

    The last three of four years or so, I've gone without the aid for days at times. Why wear it around the house when no one is around? I don't need to hear during these times. I do put it on when going to meetings and/or visiting family and/or friends.

  11. wearing Hearing Aids in bed isn't a great idea, they could get broke or stuck in your ear and cause some real damage. My advice is not to wear hearing aids in bed.

  12. I'm agree! I hate wearing my hearing aids while I am sleep. I've only done it a very few times if necessary! I always wake up with achey ears after almost 8 hours sleep with my hearing aids in my ear.
    bte hearing aids Castro Valley CA

  13. there are pros and cons to wearing hearing aids during bed time.. But, it is advisable not to wear hearing aids in bed to give comfort to our ears and to have a long life for hearing aids as well..

  14. I am afraid I"ll roll over on that side and drive the aid into my ear. I wear the hearing all the time during the day. If I take a nap during the day, I take the hearing aid out so I won't roll over on it.

  15. I've never worn my hearing aids in bed, I'm sure that if I did they would whistle as soon as my ears hit the pillow.

  16. Wore the lyrics on trial and was able to sleep with them on.

  17. People with hearing problems should consider getting pet aids. Maybe then they can sleep without their hearing aids. Sleep is very important for the body, and natural sleep aids can improve quality of life.

  18. I don't wear my hearing aids to bed, and I take them out any time I don't really need to be listening to anything. If I don't have to hear what someone is saying, I much prefer peace and quiet. :-) As for sleeping, Phillips (and probably others) make a wonderful alarm clock that simulates sunrise, which frankly is a much more pleasant way to wake up than being jolted by vibrating or loud noises anyway.

  19. Nobody has commented on the life of the battery. Is not turning it off at night a meaningful operation?

  20. What the aid that has the built in generator for Tinnitus? This helps one to sleep at night that hears the annoying loud ringing or buzzing sounds from the Tinnitus?

  21. I have had 'behind the ear' hearing aids for about six years now.
    I have tried to sleep with them in on a couple of occasions, but because I always sleep on my side, I found it very painfull when my head hit the pillow, it made my ears ache, so I always take them out. This is not a problem if I need to wake up at a certain time, I just use a vibrationg alarm clock or set the alarm on my mobile phone to vibrate, and place it under my pillow.
    My concern at the moment however, is of a very recent and traumatic experience whilst on holiday. I was staying in a hotel, when I awoke at 6-30am, to use the ensuite bathroom. When I attempted to switch on the bathroom light, it did not work and neither did the bedroom light, the hotel seemed to be without power. ! For some reason, I decided to put an hearing aid in my ear, it was only then that I heard the faint sound of an alarm bell ringing. I then fitted my other hearing aid, and the alarm became much louder. When I opened my hotel room door, the alarm was deafening, and the corridoor was in darkness. It was then that I could smell 'burning'. ! I threw on some clothes and made my way to the fire exit. When I got outside, all the other hotel guests and staff were already assembled, and the fire briggade had arrived. I would seem that I was the last evacuee. The fire was a minor electrical fire, which was quickly brought under control. My fear is that if the fire hadn't been noticed by the hotels nightwatchman and had spread, and if I hadn't awoke 'by chance' when I did, then I would not be here now to write this. !!!
    Although I agree that taking hearing aids out at night is good for your ears and prolongs the battery, I am worried that myself or anyone else in the same situation my have a similar occurance, . . . . . . and not live to tell the tale, the idea of going to sleep and being totally deaf to the outside world is now frightening. !!!

  22. It may not be comfortable to sleep on an ear with a hearing aid in it! Also there is the chance it could come out while you are sleeping and get lost in the sheets.



Keep it civil.