It's no surprise that hearing instruments take a little bit of getting used to. Most people adjust pretty quickly to their new hearing instrument during normal indoor settings, like work or home. We have many customers that are also avid hikers and we've heard from them that it's not quite such an easy adjustment.
In order to get the most out of your hearing instrument while hiking, you really need to think about two things, protection and optimization.
Protecting your hearing instrument while hiking
There are a few steps that you can take to minimize the chance of damage to your hearing instrument through moisture, sweat, and humidity. If you're a heavy sweater and love outdoor activities, it can be a good idea to either choose a smaller hearing instrument that has less contact with your skin or even pick up a sweat-protecting cover to provide an extra layer between your skin and the hearing instrument.
Protecting your hearing instrument from loss
One comment that we hear from our hike-loving customers is that one of their major concerns is losing their hearing instrument while they're hiking in the hills or woods. Many of our customers use a clip and cord to attach their hearing instrument to their shirt, so if it were to fall off it would dangle harmlessly by their shirt.
Configuring your hearing instrument for hiking
Many hearing instruments have different settings for indoor situations, outdoor situations, etc. Many of our customers find that cranking the microphone up and the noise reduction down results in a better experience for hiking. However, it'll probably take a little playing around to figure out the optimal setting for your favorite hiking trails. If you have issues configuring it, you may want to speak to your audiologist so they can point you in the right direction.
One other note: If you're going to be hiking with a partner, communication can be a challenge. There are several options out there to help with communication, such as purchasing a special lapel mic that syncs up with your hearing instrument. If you're going to be in the front of a group, you may want to ask your audiologist about pointing your microphone behind you. Finally, be aware of high wind situations. Wind noise can make communication particularly challenging when hiking.
Ear Gear helps you have a better hiking experience
If you're not already familiar with Ear Gear, it's a protective sleeve that slides over your hearing instrument and protects it from sweat, moisture, dirt, wind noise, and loss. We have a wide range of options to fit just about every hearing instrument. Ear Gear is acoustically transparent, meaning that it provides this protection (and even shields against wind noise!) without decreasing the quality of your hearing.
For hiking, we would recommend one of our corded models. The spandex sleeve will provide a layer of protection against sweat and moisture, and the clip will attach to your shirt and give you peace of mind that if it your hearing instrument were to fall off, it would dangle harmlessly from your shirt.
They're easy to slide on and off your hearing instrument, so if they do become wet, you can swap it out with a new pair and let it dry.
If you'd like a recommendation about which model is right for you, just let us know, or start shopping now.