Traveling with Hearing Aids
Hearing aids have improved the travel experience for numerous hard of hearing tourists.
Instead of straining to hear tour guides, missing boarding announcements, and struggling to negotiate unfamiliar public transportation, hearing aid wearers can enjoy trips without the extra hassle and worry. Remember, protecting and maintaining your hearing aids while traveling is the only way to keep them performing at the peak levels you need.
In order to avoid inconvenient dashes to the store or complete loss of function, it is best to assume that wherever you are going will not have a ready supply of necessary equipment to maintain your hearing aids. To best prepare for your travels, 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.
Before you set off on your trip, consult this list of recommended items for reference:
- 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 and/or storage 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 equipment.
- Power strip to accommodate all of your chargers and devices.
- A spare hearing aid (if available).
Going through security and other air travel requirements
Air travel has long been a cause of concern for those who wear hearing aids. Here are some common questions and answers regarding Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requirements and restrictions you should know:
Can I wear my hearing aids through security checkpoints?
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.
Will any of the technology used in screening damage my hearing aids in any way?
No. X-rays, walk-through metal detectors, full-body scanners, and hand-held detection devices do not affect hearing aids.
What if I’m not wearing my hearing aids during screening, but carrying them in my carry-on luggage?
The devices may be subject to additional screening at the discretion of a TSA security officer.
Should I bring medical documentation of my hearing loss?
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 complete before travel and display when you arrive.
Once I’m on the airplane, is there anything special I need to do?
You are not subject to the same rules regarding the use of portable electronic devices as everyone else. The FAA exempts devices like hearing aids and pacemakers because they don’t emit signals that might interfere with aircraft controls.
Discuss your needs with a hearing care professional
Use our free online locator to arrange a no-obligation appointment. For additional guidance or specific questions regarding traveling with hearing aids, talk to your hearing care professional.