Travel Tips for Hearing Aid or Cochlear Implant Users

Hearing Aid and Cochlear Implant Travel Tips

One major concern people have when they are about to take a flight with their new hearing aids or cochlear implant is “can I wear hearing aids on an airplane”? This question is often times not addressed with new users of hearing aids, and if you get to the airport and realize you haven’t asked, it can cause some concern.

The good news is, there is usually no problem with wearing hearing aids or cochlear implants on an airplane.

The best and safest way to travel on a plane with your hearing aids and/or cochlear implant is to wear them.

Not only will this help to ensure that they are not lost in misplaced luggage, but you will be able to better hear the safety instructions of the airline and security personnel, as well as notifications about gate changes or flight delays.

At Security Checkpoints

It may be helpful to notify the TSA security officer that you have a hearing loss and are wearing hearing technology. This way, they will be aware of any anomalies that may show up on the security screen and will facilitate communication with the officials. You can use this downloadable TSA notification card to discreetly notify the officer of your hearing loss.

The X-rays, metal detectors, full-body, and hand-held scanners will not affect your hearing aids or cochlear implant. However, the walk-through metal detectors may cause you to hear a distorted sound when walking through the scanner. You may choose to turn down the volume on your device before entering the scanner to reduce the annoying sound.

If you are bringing a spare cochlear implant processor with you on your trip, it is best to put it in your carry-on bag, in the CI case, turned off, with the battery out. It is better to keep it in your carry-on rather than checked luggage because the machine can be much stronger on the checked luggage scanner and may affect map settings.

Preparing For Your Flight

If you are concerned about whether you will hear the announcements at your gate, you should let the flight attendant at the gate know that you have a hearing loss. You may also want to sign-up for cell phone text alerts to inform you of any gate changes, delays, or boarding calls.

On The Airplane

There are currently no restrictions which will not allow you to wear your hearing aids or cochlear implants on a plane, even with wireless technology. However, if you also use an additional FM assistive listening device, that should be turned off during the flight.

Hearing aids and cochlear implants will not interfere with a plane’s navigation system so you can keep them on for the entire flight, even take-off and landing.

FM systems are equipped with both a transmitter and receiver and fall under the same restrictions during flight as a cell phone. Keep your hearing aids on, but turn off your FM system device.

Many hearing aid users find that the airplane noise is loud and bothersome, especially if you are sitting over the wing or near the rear of the plane. For this reason, you may decide to turn your hearing aids down or use a pre-set noise reduction program. If you have a remote control, you can use this to make adjustments to your hearing aids during the flight. If you are not sure whether your hearing aid has a noise reduction program, ask your hearing healthcare provider prior to your flight. They may be able to set that up for you if not already in use.

If traveling alone, you should let the flight attendant know that you have a hearing loss, in the event of emergency announcements.

If you remove your hearing aids during the flight, to watch a movie or listen to music, make sure you turn them off and safely put them in your carry-on bag so they are not lost or damaged.

Don’t put them in the seat pocket or clothing pockets where they can be forgotten or fall out. When your flight is over, make sure you have all your hearing equipment before de-planing!

Traveling can be a exciting but also stressful. Using hearing technology should not add to the stress. Follow these simple tips and you will enjoy your flight and your trip!

If you are looking for a new hearing aid you can find local hearing centers offering the latest hearing aid tech with our free online tool.

Comments

  1. Jo marquis says:

    What about the pressure effect? I have this badly in aeroplanes and have it on mountains. Wearing hearing aids makes it worse.

    1. Everyday Hearing says:

      It sounds like you may have some Eustachian tube dysfunction and wearing the hearing aids is making it more difficult for your ear pressure to balance in these situations.

      1. Elaine Withey says:

        I have just made my first flight wearing aids in both ears.
        I found the descent really painful ( never had problems before)
        When I was fitted I was told I have very narrow bendy ear canals so maybe that was also making it worse.

        1. Everyday Hearing says:

          Wearing hearing aids on a flight shouldn’t change the pressure you feel in your ears, as they are typically not tight-fitting enough to do so.

  2. Adam says:

    Since the flight, something has gone wrong with my hearing aids. They are still working but I can’t hear as clearly as before. It’s like whan I wear ear plugs. Is that the device problem or did my hearing get worse?

    1. Everyday Hearing says:

      That’s impossible to determine without having the hearing aids and/or your hearing checked by an Audiologist. It could be either.

  3. Maggie says:

    Where will I need to store my batteries (hand luggage or suitcase) and will I be asked to take them out while going through the x-ray?

    1. Everyday Hearing says:

      Hi Maggie,
      You can store your batteries in either your hand luggage or suitcase and should not need to take them out when going through the x-ray. However, if you have more than a few packs of batteries I would recommend storing them in your checked suitcase.

  4. In the traveling time, I wear my hearing aids. Because I have 30 percent hearing loss. In the flight, I wear it otherwise I can’t hear any think what people say. It is most important to those people who are lost their hearing. Love to read your post.

  5. Marcia Weiss says:

    I have dual Esteem implants & they’re fantastic! No pressure, pain, stuffiness, etc. No problem flying at all. Been on many flights since both ears have been implanted in Southern California. Absolutely love them!

  6. Leslie says:

    I have cochleae implants is it safe to travel with the plane pressure? Or will it interfere with my cochleae?

    1. Everyday Hearing says:

      Hi Leslie,
      The airplane pressure should not cause any problems with your cochlear implant.

  7. Bruce says:

    Thanks a Bunch ! It was VERY useful, being able to read all the Assessments of Travellers with Hearing loss. I have never worn my H/Aids, on the short Domestic Flights within New Zealand, where I live. I am going to Texas in April 2019, and from the Comments fro the Folks on this Forum, I think I shall carry my H/Aids in a small Carry-Box in my pocket…..I can pull out oune or both very quickly and put them in , or take them out. Obviously I shall swing the Battery Compartment to the “Open” position, B 4 boarding the Planes involved.
    Thanks again for the opportunity to read all the Comments …Nice One ! …Cheers, Bruce G.

  8. Ariel says:

    What about work abroad using hearing aid..because I have hearing disability…that’s why I use hearing aid..can I do that?…if it’s not danger for work abroad?

  9. Val says:

    Most helpful advice-thank you.

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