Will Long Hair Diminish a Hearing Aid’s Performance?
Hearing loss affects many people from all ages and walks of life. Manufacturers offer a wide variety of models as possible in order to meet the taste of the different wearers. That is why hearing aids come in different shapes and colours – they can be subtle enough that only a close observer notices them or colourful and fun for those who do not feel apprehensive of other people’s reactions and treat the hearing aid as a fashion statement and not only as a device.
Many hard of hearing, though, still feel unsure about concealing a hearing aid. There are a few ways, which can be used to lessen the visibility of a hearing aid. Choosing a model that is very small such as in the ear or in the canal hearing aid or a tiny behind the ear model in a skin tone colour is one way to do it. Another option, very popular among women, is to cover the hearing aid with their hair. This is not strange at all, as long hair is quite easy to wear down and effortlessly covers the ears so that the hearing device is completely hidden.
Some may argue that long hair interferes with the sound that comes to the hearing aid and reduces its performance. However, it is highly unlikely that sound waves and vibrations could be affected by long hair over the hearing aid. Many people wear their long hair deliberately over their hearing aid to conceal it without complaining of diminished performance.
In some cases, though, hair around the hearing aid is not recommended. For instance, when the wearer uses bone anchored hearing aid, the hair and the hair follicles around the external body need to be removed in order for the hearing aid to be attached to the skull and to avoid skin irritations and inflammations afterwards.
There are also a few cases, when you should be careful with wearing long hair over hearing aids. On occasions hair can brush up against the microphone ports and become an amplified sound. Sometimes it is easy for the hair to entangle around the hearing aid, especially when worn by children. Another situation for considering pulling your hear back when wearing hearing aids is in hot weather or when exercising. Longer hair allows for more perspiration around the ears and that moisture may enter the hearing aid. Humidity can be detrimental to the device so it is highly recommended that you avoid putting your hearing aid in conditions where it can get wet. If that happens, you should immediately absorb the moisture with a soft dry tissue, take out the batteries and leave it to dry. You can use a dehumidifier for hearing aids or turn to your audiologist for advice. However, you should never put your hearing aid in heat such as in an oven or under a hot stream of air, e.g. use a hair dryer. The hearing aid may discolour, harden or melt and be damaged irreversibly.