‘Turn left, then go to.. (incomprehensible)…then you get to…’
My hearing aid then went kaput. Over the last couple of minutes I noticed that the power of the amplification lessened and I was straining to hear through my hearing aid all the way in Singapore.
I wanted to find out how to get to Raffles hotel for a Singapore Sling and I had just asked an ex-pat who was living there.
I cursed at myself and rubbed absent-mindedly at the ear-mould hoping that it could lodge perhaps the water in the tubing. Alas, it wasn’t that. My hearing aid had just got drenched and the electrics shorted out.
There weren’t any downpour of rain and I didn’t get splashed at. It was all me, mainly my sweat that coated my hair thus dripping into the microphones of my hearing aid, frazzling the sound. I tried my best to flip off the hair and rubbed my hearing aid with my equally sweaty t-shirt. It was all to be in vain. Thanks to the extreme high humidity in this country, my hearing aids didn’t stand a chance.
Now, I could have gone back to pop my hearing aid in a drying box and it’ll be all fixed. But what I was more bothered about is that between now and my accommodation, my hearing was truly at a disadvantage with only my cochlear implant, which I suspected was going the same way.
In the end during my round the world travels, I opted to buzz cut my beautiful hair to ensure my time in humid countries wasn’t a silent one.
So, fast forward a couple of years, I still hadn’t found out how to resolve the problem of sweaty hearing aids until after a long session with my personal trainer in a gym back home, I was determined to find a solution after spending two hours in the same situation.
A search online didn’t reveal much until I spied an organisation called EarGear.
Eargear offers hearing aid protection from sweat, dirt, moisture, loss and wind noise. It is a North American company run by parents of a deaf child who kept losing her hearing aids. they opted to develop hearing aid sleeves in a variety of designs to ensure they are kept on with a clip.
Reading through their website, I was amazed that they had sleeves for hearing devices whether they are RIC, BTE, Cochlear, RONDO, BAHA or ITE, and they are ranges to fit children, adults and seniors. I noted that they said for adults, the EarGear sleeves can be:
‘used for dirty, dusty, or wet work environments such as working in the garden, mowing the lawn, or during any sort of sporting or outdoor activity; running, biking, hiking, fishing or canoeing. Ear Gear significantly reduces wind noise as well.’
As soon as I saw it can be used for sporting or outdoor activity, I knew I had to order a pair. Especially when I saw that they can reduce wind noise as well.
Then came a problem. There were so many designs to choose from in the BTE (behind the ear) hearing aids: EarGear Original Cordless
I opted for the Orange/Red pair as, hey, I love bright colours and they will make my hearing aids stand out for people to ask me questions about them.
But as I’m a British guy, I knew the cost of buying from North America would be high, but luckily, they have a page where you can find your country dealer: Dealers
I saw that Connevans was listed here as the British dealer so luckily, I could order a pair to be delivered to me really quickly: Connevans EarGear
Excited to have my parcel arrive, I slipped on the EarGear sleeves and immediately could hear the difference when I walked outside… hardly any wind noise!
More importantly, I was able to use it at the gym and I could hear word for word what my personal trainer was saying to me and, also, not having to worry about sweat frazzling my hearing aid. Just remember to wash them every week if you have constant use out of them.
I did take it with me in my latest trip to South Africa this year especially as I went inland and the humidity rose. I simply popped them on and for the whole day, my hearing aid functioned the best as it could have done!
I can’t believe how such a simple invention can literally change my day to day life and at the same time protect my hearing device.
For this, EarGear, I thank you very, very, very much! (Especially for giving my epic hairstyles back!)
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Have you experienced EarGear in your life? Tell me how they did for you in the comments below or post on The Deaf Traveller’s Facebook page: The Deaf Traveller