Do you have plans to travel for the spring or summer? Here are some tips, adapted from AARP, to help you travel in the air with hearing aids.
First things first, make sure you pack enough batteries (if you have disposable batteries for your hearing aids) or (for those with rechargeable hearing aids) pack your charger and charging cord, along with any adapters if you’re traveling internationally.
Secondly, if you are traveling to a location with lots of humidity, it may be a good idea to bring a travel-sized dehumidifier. This will help extract moisture that has accumulated on your hearing aids throughout the day. You can pick up one of these at our office for $12.
When going through security, you’re not required to remove your hearing aids or cochlear implants. You may be subjected to a pat-down if your hearing devices set off the metal detector or advanced imaging technology. Think twice about putting your hearing aids through the X-ray machine. Though the hearing aid industry as a whole has stated it is safe for hearing aids to go through the X-ray machine, there have been some reports of microphones getting damaged after being subjected to X-rays.
Some terminals provide hearing loops to help you communicate with airport personnel. To be compatible with a hearing loop system, your hearing aids must have access to telecoil, or t-coil. If you’re not sure if your hearing aid has this, contact your audiologist.
When at the gate, it is a good idea to let the attendant know that you have hearing loss so that they can notify you of important messages. Try to sit next to the podium so they can find you easily. Many airports or airlines have apps available or text messaging alert systems to notify you of boarding times, gate changes, etc.
Once you’re on the plane, it’s recommended that you let your flight attendant and your seatmate know about your hearing impairment so they can make sure you are notified of any important announcements.
If your hearing aids are connected to your smart phone, you can continue to use bluetooth while in flight. We recommend using the noise filter settings of your hearing aids while flying, in an effort to reduce the engine noise. However, as the engine noise can drown out speech even for normal-hearing travelers, many hearing aid users take their hearing aids off during the flight. If you choose to do so, make sure they are placed in a protective case inside your bag. Don’t be tempted to put them in the seat pocket in front of you!
We hope this helps make traveling a little easier for you. If you need any supplies, such as batteries or a dehumidifier, or have questions regarding the technology available to you, such as bluetooth or telecoil, please give our office a call. We will be happy to help!