Instead of straining to hear tour guides, missing boarding announcements, and struggling to negotiate unfamiliar public transportation, hearing aid wearers can enjoy trips without extra hassle and worry. But, it’s important to protect and maintain your hearing aids while traveling, so that they continue to provide the top performance you need while away from home.
Preparations before hitting the road
It is best to assume that wherever you are going will not have a ready supply of necessary equipment to maintain your hearing aids, in order to avoid inconvenient dashes to stores or complete loss of function. Instead, bring whatever you may need and make sure you have enough of everything to last your entire trip — and perhaps a few days more, in case of unexpected delays or changes in plans.
Here is a short checklist for reference before you set off on your trip. Make sure you bring the following:
- Replacement batteries or charger
- Extra tubing, soft domes, audio shoe, sport clip, or other attachable accessories
- Dehumidifier for drying hearing aids (if not using a charger with a drying function)
- Remote or wireless accessories for connecting your hearing aids to other high-tech devices, FM and/or loop systems
- All necessary cleaning equipment
- A cell phone you know is compatible with your hearing aids
- Portable alarm that can wake you with vibration or light
- Carry-on approved case for all hearing aid-related paraphernalia
Going through security and other air travel requirements
Air travel has long been a cause of concern for those who wear hearing instruments. Here are some common questions and answers regarding Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirements and restrictions you should know:
Q. Can I wear my hearing aids through security checkpoints?
A. According to the latest TSA guidelines, you should notify a security officer that you are wearing hearing aids before screening begins. You do not have to remove your hearing aids during screening. If your hearing aids set off the walk-through metal detector or show up as anomalies using imaging technology, then you may be subject to additional screening such as a pat down or manual inspection.
Q. Will any of the technology used in screening damage my hearing instruments in any way?
A. No. X-rays, walk-through metal detectors, full-body scanners, and hand-held detection devices do not affect hearing aids.
Q. What if I’m not wearing my hearing aids during screening, but carrying them in my carry-on luggage?
A. The devices may be subject to additional screening at the discretion of a TSA security officer.
Q. Should I bring medical documentation of my hearing loss?
A. Passengers with hearing aids are not required to provide medical documentation before airport security screenings. However, you may find it helpful to have this information handy in order to communicate your situation discreetly to an officer. The TSA also has a downloadable notification card available that you can fill in before travel and show when you arrive.
Q. Once I’m on the airplane, is there anything special I need to do?
A. You are not subject to the same rules regarding the use of portable electronic devices as everyone else. The FAA exempts such devices as hearing aids and pacemakers because they don’t give off signals like cell phones that might interfere with aircraft controls.
Discuss your needs with a hearing care professional
Call 855-355-9064 or contact us online to arrange an appointment. For additional guidance or specific questions regarding traveling with hearing aids, talk to your hearing care professional.
 Transportation Security Administration. http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/passengers-who-are-deaf-or-hearing-impaired.