Get The Help You Need
Chances are youve been living with hearing loss. Nearly 27 million Americans age 50 and older have hearing loss, but only one in seven uses a hearing aid. On average, people with hearing aids waited a decade before getting help.
What you may not realize is that even a slight loss carries serious risks: Research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has found that mild hearing loss doubles dementia risk over 12 years. It also raises your risk of falls. Our ears pick up cues as we walk that help us balance. If you have hearing loss, your brain needs to work harder to hear conversation and other ambient sounds and this could interfere with your balance as well. That’s why hearing aids are so important for quality of life.
Why Is Tinnitus Seem Louder At Bedtime
A useful analogy about tinnitus is to think of it like a candle in a room.
During the day when there are other sources of light around, the candles brightness is diminished. As it becomes darker, the candle light becomes more noticeable as there is less light to detract attention from it. In fact, when its dark, the candle is difficult to miss.
Tinnitus is objectively the same – a dimmer sound during the day when there are more ambient noises around us to detract attention from it, but more noticeable when its quiet, especially at night time, when there are lower levels of ambient noises around.
Wearing Hearing Aids To Achieve A Better Quality Sleep
It isnt just the number of hours thats significant here. In order for your sleep to be truly rejuvenating, you need to achieve a certain degree to your zs. Hearing aids can enhance your ability to attain a restful nights sleep because hearing loss without hearing aids can reduce deep sleep.
Wearing your hearing aids on the suggested daytime schedule will enhance your sleep but its worthwhile to mention that hearing aids arent ordinarily meant to be worn at night. They dont help you hear better when youre in bed . And your hearing aids can definitely wear out quicker if you use them at night. Its wearing them during the day that helps you achieve better sleep.
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Can I Sleep With My Hearing Aids On
Can I sleep with my hearing aids on?
To answer this question in the simplest form, no, you should not sleep with your hearing aids.
A hearing aid that fits behind the ear has microphones that are positioned in the hearing aid housing behind the ear. When you sleep wearing the hearing aid, while it is switched on, every-time the microphones get covered with a pillow or mattress there is the potential to create feedback or whistling from the hearing aids. This is not so great for sleep quality for you, or for the person you might share a bed with.
Another issue is comfort. Custom hearing aids and ear pieces are made out of a range of material hard acrylic, silicon or even titanium so when you lay on your ear for more than a short amount of time this will not be very comfortable and the material may press into the skin of the ear causing pressure points.
We also see that on average hearing aids are worn for over eight hours per day and these materials are not breathable so removing them at night when you go to sleep allows the skin to breathe and rest and for ear wax to gradually migrate out of the ear.
Can I Sleep With My Hearing Aids In
Time To Read: 5 minutes
Usually those asking this question have tinnitus and are looking at ways to deal with the persistent noise.
So, let’s take a look at this topic in more detail.
- What Is Tinnitus?
- Why Is Tinnitus Seem Louder At Bedtime?
- What Can I Do To Get A Good Nights Sleep?
At Value Hearing we encourage our clients to wear their hearing aids as much as possible in a wide range of day-to-day situations. In fact, our clients have a better than a 95% wear rate.
But there are two places where we strongly recommend you dont where your hearing aids – one is in the shower, the other is in bed.
As much as you need to wear hearing aids during the day, you also need to give your ears and your brain a break. Removing your hearing aids before bed reduces the amount of audio stimulation you receive while youre sleeping.
Your ear canals need to air out and your hearing aids need time to dry out after being in your ears all day.
If youre enjoying the benefits of rechargeable hearing aids, youll know that they require charging overnight. For hearing aids with disposable batteries, opening the battery case at the end of the day will prevent a drain on your batteries.
Wearing hearing aids to bed is not common and the reason why some people might entertain the thought is to help mask tinnitus.
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Hairspray And Hearing Aids
Sometimes while getting ready, people use a lot of hairspray only to find their hearing aids are not working properly. The fumes given off hairspray are prone to affect the hearing aids microphones. If applying hairspray, we tell our clients to remove their hearing aids while applying the spray and waiting at least twenty minutes to put them back in. This is so the hairspray fumes subside. Removing and waiting to put your hearing aids back in helps protect your hearing aids. This ensures them to continue functioning properly.
If you have questions about the functionality of your hearing aids, we are always here to answer your questions. We want your hearing aids to last and to help improve your life by improving the quality of your hearing.
Getting Better Quality Sleep Using Hearing Aids
In terms of sleep, the amount of hours is not the only thing to consider. How deep you sleep is as relevant as the number of hours. Hearing aids can increase your ability to attain a restful nights sleep because hearing loss without hearing aids can reduce deep sleep.
Using your hearing aids on the recommended daytime schedule will enhance your sleep but its important to note that hearing aids arent generally designed to be used at night. When youre sleeping they wont help you hear better . And your hearing aids can actually wear out faster if you use them during the night. You get better sleep if you use them during the day.
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Dont Sleep In With Your Hearing Aids
It is best to pull your hearing aids off at night or anytime when you are going to take a nap. This is for a few reasons, first laying on your hearing aid may cause a pressure sore in your ear and secondly your hearing aid may fall off and get lost in the sheets.
If you are concerned with not hearing your alarm clock I would recommend a super-powered alarm clock for you, see my article on the best alarm clock for hearing aid users.
How Many Hours A Day Should You Wear Hearing Aids
Ill confess once I began working at home years ago, Ive rarely worn my aids from the minute I got out of bed until the minute I fell asleep. So I asked Dr. Palmer: Is there a minimum number of hours of usage that would keep our brains primed?
Although there isnt data to answer that question, she told me, audiologists see that people who wear their aids all through their waking hours do better. The brain isnt good at trying to listen in two waysthrough the hearing loss and through the amplification system. The ear is a doorway to the brain, it doesnt make sense to have it partially closed part of the day, she explained.
My own observation is that part-time use has a big cost. I have a friend with profound hearing loss, much worse than mine. When neither of us wears our hearing aids, the difference is dramatic. But weve both noticed with surprise that when we are in a noisy restaurant wearing our hearing aids, he can hear better than I can. I thought the aids were the problem. However, now I have a different theoryhed been wearing his aids whenever he was awake and was getting the full benefit of them. His brain was adapted to a fuller range of sound.
The ear is a doorway to the brain, it doesnt make sense to have it partially closed part of the day.”
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Achieving A Better Night Sleep With Hearing Aids
It isnt just the number of hours thats important here. In order for your sleep to be truly refreshing, you need to obtain a targeted degree to your zs. Hearing aids can improve your ability to get a restful nights sleep because loss of hearing without hearing aids can prevent deep sleep.
Wearing your hearing aids on the suggested daytime schedule will enhance your sleep but its significant to mention that hearing aids arent normally meant to be used at night. They arent going to help you hear better when youre sleeping . And your hearing aids can definitely wear out faster if you wear them during the night. You get better sleep if you wear them during the day.
Hearing Loss May Increase A Sense Of Isolation
If you don’t wear your hearing aids often enough for maximal brain adjustment, and are staying home often, you may find it harder to relate to people.
Hearing loss can promote compensations like interrupting, monologuing, not talking, or talking too loudly or quietly. These habits make it harder to enjoy conversations or even small talk, especially through masks. You might not feel comfortable on video conference or phone calls.
And if you don’t enjoy conversation, you may withdraw, feel other people don’t like you, and become lonely.
Along with wearing your hearing aids to keep your conversational skills sharp, there are other ways to offset this loneliness. For example, if you get comfortable with video calls, they have the advantage of allowing you to wear a headset and adjust the volume. If your hearing aids are Bluetooth-equipped, you can stream audio from the video call, or if not, wear a headset over your hearing aids.
The same is true of ordinary phone calls. I personally have been texting lots of friends and spending more time on the phone with family. I dont feel isolated at all.
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Can Poor Sleep Lead To Hearing Loss
Given the relationship between sleep and hearing loss, it is worth exploring whether sleep dysfunction can lead to hearing loss.
In at least one situation, this seems to be the case. Studies have shown a link between obstructive sleep apnea and hearing loss, though the exact reason for that connection is still being researched.
People suffering from sleep apnea stop breathing for short periods multiple times while they sleep. It affects around 40 million Americans and can cause a range of other symptoms, including loud snoring.
Some researchers speculate that this snoring might be loud enough to cause hearing loss. After all, loud noises damage your hearing even if you arent aware of them. However, most snoring falls between 50 and 60 decibels, below the 85-90 decibel guidelines for damaging noise.
Another possibility is that when an individual stops breathing, blood flow to the inner ear is reduced. Over time this might lead to inflammation of the cochlea, causing or contributing to hearing loss. The researchers who back this idea found that sleep apnea is associated with hearing damage even in individuals who dont snore, which makes the snoring hypothesis less likely.
Aside from sleep apnea, two studies indicate that sleep problems might be linked to sudden hearing loss . One suggests that sleeping less than seven hours a night might be a risk factor for SSNHL, while the other links SSNHL with circadian rhythm disruption.
Do Hearing Aids Improve Your Sleep Research Says
Sleep is precious. Kids in college dont get that they stay up late and wake up early . But youyou protect your sleep. If you dont get a full, restful seven to eight hours of sleep, you wake up groggy and cranky, an unpleasant feeling that only three cups of coffee can keep at bay. So when your hearing loss began causing you to have insomnia, you were understandably aghast.
Understandably so. Luckily, theres a little something that can help: your hearing aid. According to the most recent surveys and research, these tiny devices can probably help you sleep better.
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Consider Hearing Aid Rehabilitation
Hearing aids have been shown to make a dramatic difference in the lives of people with hearing loss. Not only do they help restore some amount of hearing, but they can also improve sleep problems and related issues.
However, only 20% of adults who would be helped by hearing aids use them. If you have hearing loss and struggle with insomnia or another sleep disorder, hearing aid rehabilitation could be the right treatment choice.
Hearing aid rehabilitation starts with a hearing test. Until the hearing aid or hearing aid dispenser has understood your form of hearing loss, they will suggest potential hearing aids.
- Are the benefits and features of higher-priced styles worth the cost to me?
- Does the manufacturer offer a trial and adjustment period?
- What are the terms of the warranty?
- How are repairs covered, and will loaner aids be provided during repairs?
Adjusting to hearing aids can take time. Not only will you have to get used to the physical sensation of the aids, but you will also have to retrain your brain to adjust to sounds you otherwise could not hear.
Still, the process is well worth the effort. Most hearing aid users are satisfied or very satisfied with their aids, regardless of the technology or version they use.
How Is Sleep Impacted By Hearing Loss
Even though you feel fatigued all day and are exhausted by bedtime, you still toss and turn and have a hard time falling asleep. All of these problems started about the same time you also began to notice that your radio, television, and mobile phone were becoming hard to hear.
Come to find out, youre not imagining it. Its well documented that people who have hearing loss often have a difficult time falling asleep, but exactly why is not well recognized. There are, naturally, a few theories:
- Your brain, when you have loss of hearing, strains to get stimulus where there isnt any. If your brain is in overdrive attempting to hear while youre trying to sleep, your entire cycle could be thrown off .
- Hearing loss is related to depression, and depression can cause chemical imbalances in the brain that disrupt your sleep cycle. Because of this, falling asleep and staying asleep becomes harder.
- Tinnitus can cause you to hear thumping, humming, and ringing and that noise can keep you awake at night. .
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Wind Noise Can Be Very Annoying
Hearing the wind blow across the microphones of your hearing aids can be very problematic. So it is your choice to wear the hearing aids or just pull them off.
Things like driving in the car with the window open can be intolerable so you can be the judge whether to wear your hearing aids in the wind or not. If you are in the wind often, shield your hearing aids from the wind using Eargear that was mentioned above.
Related Article: Hearing Aids and Limitations on Activity. Find Out what types of activities you should not wear hearing aids doing.
Can You Hear While Sleeping
- How Prevalent is Hearing Loss in the US? – September 21, 2021
We commonly think of sleep as a time where the brain and body shut down and does not receive or process information from the external environment. But the brain is actually more active during sleep than we think. Throughout the duration of sleep, we move through several sleep cycles which include different stages and in some of these stages, the brain is more active and is able to hear and process sound even though you may not remember the following day!
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How Is Sleep Affected By Loss Of Hearing
Even though you feel tired all day and are exhausted by bedtime, you still toss and turn and have a difficult time falling asleep. All of these issues began around the same time you also started to notice that your radio, television, and mobile phone were becoming difficult to hear.
Come to find out, youre not imagining it. Its well documented that individuals who have hearing loss often have a difficult time falling asleep, but exactly why is not well understood. Some theories have been put forward:
- Loss of hearing is related to depression, and depression can result in chemical imbalances in the brain that disrupt your sleep cycle. This makes it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Your brain, when you have loss of hearing, strains to get stimulus where there isnt any. If your brain is in overdrive attempting to hear while youre trying to sleep, your whole cycle could be disrupted .
- You can lose sleep because of tinnitus which can cause ringing, thumping, or humming noises in your ears. .