When Do You Wear or Remove Your Hearing Aids?

As somebody with mild/medium hearing loss, I guess wearing hearing aids are more of a choice than a necessity for me. I mean, I functioned without them for nearly 40 years. Today I wouldn’t give them up for anything in the world, of course, and I really prefer wearing them for anything resembling human interaction. But I can get by without. (An audiologist I had a chat with one day told me I’d be surprised at how people with much more hearing loss than me “get by just fine” without aids. Anyway.)

So, when do I wear them, when do I remove them? As a general rule, I wear them when I leave the house. (My cats aren’t all that talkative.) I remove them when I get home. Since I got my V90 aids though, I often forget to remove them when I get home.

I don’t wear my hearing aids to watch TV.


I’ve been watching TV so long with headphones that having “ambient” sound on actually makes me self-conscious about bothering my neighbours with it (this is Switzerland). I used to always remove them to listen to music or podcasts. Now that I have the ComPilot Air II I sometimes keep them in (more for podcasts than music, with open tips there are frequencies missing for the music). If I’m travelling or wandering around on my own and not really expecting to interact with people I might take them out, too.

At judo training, I usually keep them in for warm-up and maybe the first rounds of “light” practice. Then I remove them so that I don’t have to worry about paying attention to what’s going on around my ears.

For skiing, I keep them in, despite the helmet. With my old Widex aids I’d given up on that (they really didn’t cope well with the helmet), but my current ones are fine. When driving, I sometimes wear them, sometimes not (depends if I was wearing them just before taking the wheel or not, I guess).

I also ended up removing my hearing aids once at a very noisy party. Even with the highest “speech in noise” setting, I actually managed better without them. But that was really an exceptional situation.

What about you? Do you put them in first thing in the morning and take them out last thing at night, or are you like me, sometimes in, sometimes out? And when? I’m curious to hear how other people do this. I suspect our wearing vs. not-wearing habits are also linked to how much hearing loss we have.

13 thoughts on “When Do You Wear or Remove Your Hearing Aids?”

  1. Interesting post. Like you, I have mild/moderate hearing loss. In my case, it’s mostly with sounds in the upper register — pretty typical for an aging male with tinnitus (likely from too many rock shows).

    I am able to get by in most situations. The times I need my heating aids most are situations where there is substantial background noise: social gatherings, restaurants, riding in cars with others. My Phonak Audeo aids do a fine job of isolating speech coming from people near me. I try to anticipate those situations and put in my hearing aids in advance. (I don’t always do that well. I didn’t have them in when I met a friend at a quiet coffee shop this morning, and had to reach for them as the place filled up.)

    I also use the hearing aids when listening to music (other than through earbuds). The music setting on the Phonak does a great job pulling in the high-frequency sounds I previously didn’t realize I was missing. I hear most of the music fine without the aids, but the addition of the overtones and other high-frequency sounds brings a fullness that I liken to going from a black-and-white visual experience to color — most of the information is there, but not the full richness.

    I probably should put the aids in before I leave the house so I don’t find myself having to reach for them when I need them. Still, if I’m going to be in quiet environments I’m lucky enough to not need them.

  2. I used to put my hearing aids in and take them out all the time, but now I wear hearing aids which are worn continuously for several months, even to sleep. It took some getting used to, but I now really like being able to hear my best all the time, not just when I remember to wear my aids. Thankfully, I can adjust the volume and turn them off if I really need a break.

  3. For me I never take mine off, I put my hearing aids on first thing in the morning and take off last thing at night…don’t know why I do for sometimes I don’t always hear anyway…say for instance I work in a noisy enviroment..and I have worked with my colleague for over 12 yrs…in a table say of 8 to 10 people I cant make out whos talking to me or not, yet my colleague hasn’t spoken to me for over 2 yrs because she says I snubbed her at the table !! either I didn’t realise she was talking to me, or I simply didn’t hear her…even though she knows I don’t hear, it doesn’t make any difference..still not talking to me…it hurts because I have never snubbed anyone in my life…but hey ho ! life goes on…I’m frightened to take mine off incase I miss anything……..

  4. Thanks for posting on this as it is interesting to see what others do. I generally where my hearing aids from when I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night. There are times however that I will take them out during the day when I’m at work when I need to concentrate. When someone comes up to me to ask a question though – I usually have to put them back in. I do take my hearing aids out when I’m working out or doing martial arts training due to moisture issues.

  5. I take mine off for the shower and to sleep obviously . Sometimes I take them off to use the phone. Other than that I keep them in and don’t even notice that they are in anymore….I have done much better since I started wearing them full time and they don’t get lost!

  6. I have worn phonak hearing aids for about 25 years I would never be without them I take my aid out when watching tv as I used head phones to hear the tv , first thing in the morning I put them on and the last thing before watching tv I take them off I cannot manage without my phonak hearing aid

  7. I put my hearing aids on first thing in the morning, and take them off when I go to bed at night. I’ve worn hearing aids though for over 60 years, since I was 5. I have a moderately severe to severe hearing loss, but I’m also a very good lipreader. At parties, or noisy restaurants, I turn them WAY down, and go on “visual”. Like Contour & Whoopi I also needed some peace and quite at work, so would take my hearing aids off, but since my coworkers knew about m y hearing loss, I put up a sign that said “ears off – come and get my attention if you need to talk to me” and that worked well.

  8. I put my hearing aids in first thing in the morning, and they don’t come out until bedtime. The only time I take them out is when I take a shower. That is all. I’m just about 38 years old, and I’ve been wearing hearing aids a little over four years now. They have been an absolute godsend and I don’t know how I functioned without them before. And it doesn’t just have to be for human interaction. If I’m home alone with no one talking to me, I still have them in. I actually find that’s a great time to wear them, during uninterrupted quiet. The clarity that’s there now, but wasn’t before is amazing. Maybe it’s because I didn’t start wearing them until relatively recently, but just to be able to hear things I couldn’t before, I want that experience in all my waking hours.

  9. I wear mine when I leave for work in the morning. They never come off till after work when I walk home. If I have a colleague along , I wear them as we chat on the way home but when am a lone I just remove them. I have moderate severe hearing loss and can hear cars and motorbikes on the road. I live in Africa and it might not be so safe to walk with them. I remove them when am in the house and when I shower.

  10. I wear my HA’s whenever I think I am going to spend time with other people but I just love taking them out when I am on my own. I have quite good low tone hearing but virtually no high tones and find it difficult to get the right HA. I dont wear them in the car if I am on my own , if I go supermarket shopping as its just too noisy , in the garden cos all I can hear is traffic that no one else seems to hear ! Or when I watch TV with subtitles. If I am travelling I always wear them but switch them off if things get too noisy or I am just tired. Last night after spending a day at a conference struggling to hear in a noisy room with my HA’s , on the train we took out our HA’s and relied on lip reading and then realised too late we were not on the right train ! I could not survive without them but was pleased when my audio advised me not to get too hung up on choosing not to wear them all the time in every situation as she said with my type of loss I may find the HAs don’t help that much. This makes me a bit more chilled and a little less frustrated when wearing my HA’s I still feel like I have missed most of what has been said.

  11. If I had hearing aids, I would remove them for sleeping or bathing purposes. Also if I were to go to a pool or water park. Other than that, I would wear them all the time. Like you said, it really does depend on the situation for whether you should keep them in or remove them.

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