Can You Wear Hearing Aids in A Sauna?

Why Don't They Make Hearing Aid Glasses Anymore?

Saunas can be a relaxing and fun experience and made even more enjoyable when you can share it with someone. They are nice to go in after a good workout with a friend. But if you have strain to hear your buddy, it can turn a relaxing experience into a very frustrating one. 

So can you wear hearing aids in a Sauna? Hearing aids work best in normal temperatures and should not be worn in extreme heat such as a Sauna. Wearing them may risk having to send them in for repair. Instead of wearing your primary hearing aids in a sauna use a less expensive amplifier instead.

 So, when it comes to relaxing in a sauna, the question for a hearing-impaired person is, can I (or should I) wear my hearing aids in the sauna? Will they get ruined and/or will I have any other negative consequences? Is it worth the risk? 

How Hot Is A Sauna?

Before we answer the question let’s set the scene. How hot is a typical sauna? In a sauna session, you typically sit reclined in hot temperatures that are typically between 70 and 100 °C or 158 and 212 °F

This induces relaxation and promotes sweating. This leads us to our next question. 

How Hot Can A Hearing Aids Get Per Manufacturer Specifications?  

Here is what a couple of the major hearing aid manufacturers say: 
According to the Phonak Audeo hearing aid a hearing aid is advised to be in a storage condition between the temperature –20° to +60° Celsius (–4° to +140° Fahrenheit), Phonak does not give temperature recommendations for operation.

An Oticon hearing aid is advised to be between Temperatures: +1°C to +40°C (30° to +104° Fahrenheit) for operation and storage to be between Temperatures: -25°C to +60°C (-13° to +140° Fahrenheit).

I checked with other manufacturers and they all come in at about the same range.

What Happens When A Hearing Aid Gets Too Hot?

Bad things happen to tend to happen with the hearing aid gets hot. This is not just for a sauna but can also occur if you leave your hearing aids in a parked car on a hot summer day. 

The aid can start to deform, especially the wire that goes from the hearing aid on top of your ear to the piece that enters your ear canal. When it gets hot it can get stretched out and the curvature changes.

If this happens, the good news is that it should be an easy fix for the audiologist, as they likely have a replacement part in their office. 

The hearing aid itself may start to work only intermittently, which means that the aid will work sometimes and other times it doesn’t work because parts of the hearing aid are expanding at different rates.

The plastic, acrylic, or fiberglass that the hearing aid shell is made of expands at a different rate than the computer chips and wires. These items then pull on one another and their connection suffers often resulting in the hearing aid no longer working properly. 

This type of repair could not be done in your audiologist’s office but must be sent back to the manufacturer likely leaving you without your hearing aid for up to 2 weeks. 

Heat also can have an effect on the batteries, it can cause the metal of the battery to expand and cause corrosion. If the corrosion gets into the hearing aids it can also cause the hearing aid to need to be sent back to the manufacturer for repair. 

Sauna Exceeds Manufacture Recommended Temperature

So even in the lowest temperature range of a sauna which is 158° Fahrenheit, it still exceeds the manufacturer-recommended temperature for operation and for storage. 

Thus, I come to the conclusion that IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED TO USE A HEARING AID IN A SAUNA. It’s probably not what you wanted to hear. Sorry, for the bad news as it will be more difficult for hearing-impaired persons to have a social experience in the sauna.

Of course, you could risk it but it might result in the hearing aid having to go into the manufacturer for repair.

But as enjoyable as chatting in a sauna is with some buddies, it is probably not worth the hassle to risk sending the hearing aids in for repair. Best to spend time with your friends in a different more reasonably temperature environment. 

Other Options for Hearing In The Sauna

If you really do want to communicate in the sauna but do not want to break your expensive hearing aids, I would recommend getting a less expensive pocket talker to use or buying cheap OTC aids.

Essentially this is a pair of headphones connected to a handheld microphone. It goes loud enough for most hearing loss and provides great sound quality. This device works great in background noise-free situations like a sauna.

The manufacturer William Sound does not have a specified temperature range recommended for the device and though you are still at risk of it breaking, at least it doesn’t cost as much and you will not have to live a few days/weeks without your regular hearing aids.

Jonathan Javid Au.D.

Jonathan Javid Au.D., a seasoned audiologist with an extensive background in the field of audiology. With over 11 years of invaluable clinical experience, Jonathan has dedicated his career to helping individuals enhance their hearing and improve their quality of life.

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