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Playing sports with hearing aids no longer a challenge

playing sports with hearing aids
All wearers of hearing aids say it. Between playing sports and hearing, you often have to choose! The devices only moderately appreciate what makes the charm of sport: movements, sweats and surpassing oneself. And yet, by offering Audéo Life™ , Phonak opens up possibilities for those who want to lead an active life. Dany Mingas, Phonak ambassador, experienced free diver and surfer in exceptional waves tells us about playing sports with hearing aids.

Dany, here you are equipped with the new Audéo Life. So how is it playing sports with hearing aids?

DM: Before telling you about my new hearing aids, I would like to describe my lifestyle. Having had hearing aids for many years, I have found a perfect balance in my personal and professional life thanks to hearing aids. The latest being the Naída™ Paradise supplemented with the Roger On™ microphone. They responded to these two aspects of my daily life. But there was an important part of my life in which I had to do without: sport.

It was a real problem insofar as we go from a normal sound environment to a muddled mush of noises. It is very disturbing and quite stressful. For example, when I run in the forest to train. The Audéo Life has truly changed my sports practice and the pleasure that results from it.

Read more: How I communicate in sports with hearing loss

You are a surfer in exceptional waves, so this should help you!

DM (big laugh): I have too much respect for my hearing aids to take them to do such things. Plus, that’s where I need them the least. During a towed surf session, the noise of the breaking wave and the jet ski are such that I am on par with the other surfers. Nobody hears anything and we communicate by signs. At best they would be of no use to me and more certainly they would end up at the bottom of the water. On the other hand, before going to sea, I have intensive training and there they reveal their full potential.

First, they have the same technology as my Naída Paradise. This includes multiple active Bluetooth® connections, hands-free conversations and touch control for easy access to voice assistants. The revolution is the perylene coating which acts as a watertight barrier. As a result, the hearing aid is waterproof*, certified beyond the IP68 standard.

Is it ideal for those who practice water sports?

DM: Yes and no. They are certainly waterproof, but when you dive there is the question of pressure. As for surface sports, there is the risk of loss, which is real even if there are effective attachment systems. We can paddle and fall in the water, but I wouldn’t risk surfing with it. However, for softer nautical activities such as sailing or fishing, these are real added values!

The real plus is also in the daily practice of activities, they are literally forgotten. Before, I had to remove my devices because of the sweat which could damage them. As a result, when I was cycling, the cars I heard arriving at the last moment stressed me out. When I practiced a collective sport (beach volleyball, football) I lost the salt of these sports: conviviality. I’m also thinking of the kids with hearing aids who will be able to start or resume a team sport. They will be able to hear the instructions of the coaches as well as their teammates.

The real plus is also in the daily practice of activities, they are literally forgotten.

Finally, and this is important, even when you assume your disability, you can shower with it. After a cardio or cross fit session, for example, I can now take a shower without thinking about taking my hearing aids off. That’s really nice.

So many advantages to playing sports with hearing aids!

DM: Yes, but the best thing for me is being able to swim in the pool with my son and my daughter. I can play with them while hearing their laughter and that’s really magical!

* up to 50cm.

© Photo Dany / Paul Lavoine

Read the original version in French: Playing sports when you are fitted, a real challenge!

Author Details
The HearingLikeMe editorial team includes Jill Blocker von Bueren and Lisa Goldstein.