Is it OK to Sleep with Hearing Aids In?

Is it OK to Sleep with Hearing Aids In

Quick Answer

No, it’s generally not recommended to sleep with hearing aids in. It can cause ear health issues and may shorten the lifespan of the hearing aids. However, some individuals with severe hearing loss might find it beneficial.


Have you ever wondered if it’s okay to sleep with your hearing aids in? You’re not alone. Lots of hearing aid users think about whether they should keep them on through the night. In this article, we’re going to look at the reasons why you might want to do that and weigh them against the downsides, like how it could affect your ear health or the life of your hearing aids. If you’ve got questions about wearing hearing aids at night, you’ve come to the right place.

Why Some People Keep Their Hearing Aids On at Night

Why Some People Keep Their Hearing Aids On at Night
  1. Staying Alert While You Snooze: Some people find comfort in keeping their hearing aids in as they hit the hay because it helps them stay alert to important sounds. Imagine you need to hear your smoke detector, a crying baby, or maybe just an early morning alarm. For those with significant hearing loss, having that extra level of safety can be a big deal and really put the mind at ease.

  2. Life is Just Easier: For others, it’s all about simplicity. By keeping your hearing aids in at night, you skip the morning routine of putting them on. If you have mobility or dexterity issues, this can be a genuine plus. Plus, you’re ready to go from the moment you wake up – no fumbling around on the nightstand for your devices.

  3. When Severe Hearing Loss Comes into Play: If your hearing is highly impaired, taking out your hearing aids might mean you’re pretty much cut off from the world. That can be uncomfortable and disorienting, especially if you wake up in the middle of the night. So, for some, leaving those aids in means better sleep without that sense of isolation.

What Are the Risks of Sleeping with Your Hearing Aids?

Potential Ear Health Complications:

When it comes to your ear health, sleeping with hearing aids can introduce several issues. It’s important to be aware of these potential problems:

  • Earwax Buildup: Your ears naturally produce wax to protect and clean themselves. Hearing aids can block the normal migration of earwax out of the ear canal, leading to buildup. This accumulation can harden and become difficult to remove, sometimes even causing temporary hearing loss until cleared.
  • Increased Infection Risk: The ear canal needs airflow to stay dry and healthy. Wearing hearing aids constantly can trap moisture, creating an environment where bacteria and fungi thrive, potentially leading to painful outer ear infections, such as otitis externa, commonly known as swimmer’s ear.
  • Soreness and Skin Irritation: Continuous pressure from wearing hearing aids can lead to tenderness or chafing in the sensitive skin of the ear canal, much like how a shoe rubs against your heel. Over time, this irritation can become more pronounced and lead to discomfort or localized skin problems.

While hearing aids are invaluable during waking hours, giving your ears a break while you sleep can help maintain ear health and prevent these uncomfortable and potentially serious issues.

Impact on Hearing Aid Longevity:

Hearing aids are a significant investment, and their longevity is crucial. Using them non-stop, including during nighttime, can lead to the following concerns:

  • Faster Battery Drainage: Just like any electronic device, the batteries in hearing aids have a finite life. Using your hearing aids throughout the night means the batteries will drain faster, requiring more frequent changes or charges, adding to maintenance costs and inconvenience.
  • Accelerated Mechanical Wear: The components inside your hearing aids are designed for durability, but they are not immune to the effects of constant use. Continuous operation can accelerate the aging process of these delicate parts, leading to earlier than expected malfunctions or the need for replacement.
  • Moisture Damage and Corrosion: Sleeping with your hearing aids can expose them to more moisture, especially if you sweat at night. Moisture can corrode the metal parts and damage the electronics over time, potentially leading to costly repairs or the need for new devices sooner than anticipated.

Taking care of your hearing aids is just as important as using them correctly. By removing them before sleep, you’re not only caring for your ear health but also ensuring that your devices continue to function optimally for as long as possible.

Does Keeping Your Hearing Aids in at Night Affect How Well You Sleep?

Wearing hearing aids to bed might help you sleep better, or it might do the opposite—it’s pretty personal. On the one hand, if you’re the type who sleeps better knowing you can hear alarms and other important sounds, keeping them in could mean you’ll snooze without a worry. But on the other hand, all those little nighttime noises? They could get loud with your hearing aids in and mess with your sleep. And let’s not forget about comfort—if you can’t get cozy with your hearing aids on, chances are you won’t sleep well. The best way to figure out what works for you is to give it a try for a few nights and see if you wake up feeling good or if you’re tossing and turning more than usual.

Is There a Risk of Worsening Hearing Loss by Sleeping with Aids?

It’s mostly not something to worry about if you’re using your aids right. These gadgets are made to keep sounds at a safe level, so they shouldn’t damage your ears when set up correctly. But, if they’re too loud because they haven’t been adjusted just right, that’s when you might run into trouble. If you start noticing any buzzing in your ears, discomfort, or if things sound muffled, it’s time to check in with your audiologist. Always use your hearing aids as they were meant to be used, and get in touch with your hearing specialist if anything feels off.

When Should You Definitely Take Off Your Hearing Aids?

1. Activities Where Moisture is a Concern

Water and electronics don’t mix, and this includes your hearing aids. You should always remove them before activities that involve water, such as showering, bathing, swimming, or even when you’re in a high humidity environment like a sauna. Moisture can damage the internal components of the hearing aids, shorten their lifespan, and potentially cause ear infections.

2. Preventing Damage During Physical Activities

If you’re planning on going for some heavy-duty action like mountain biking, rock climbing, or sprinting through a tough mudder race, it’s smart to take your hearing aids out. These kinds of activities can really shake things up. Your hearing aids could fall out and get lost or broken, or even hurt your ears if you take a tumble. And for those into extreme stuff like skydiving or hitting the waves with a surfboard, remember that lots of wind or water isn’t great for your hearing aids either. So, when you’re about to get wild with sports where you might get wet, dirty, or knocked around, leave your hearing aids behind to keep them safe.

3. Exposing to Extreme Conditions

Extreme heat, cold, or dust-laden environments can also be harmful to your hearing aids. For instance, it’s wise to remove them when you’re blow-drying your hair to avoid exposing them to direct heat or during activities like woodworking where fine particles could clog or damage the device.

Key Takeaways

Deciding if you should wear your hearing aids to bed comes down to what you need, how much you move when you’re asleep, and the type of hearing aid you use. It’s a good idea to talk to your audiologist or doctor before you decide because they know all about the latest research and can give you advice that fits your situation best. The main thing is to be comfortable. If having your hearing aids in at night doesn’t feel good, it might mean you should take them out so your ears can rest. There’s no single correct answer here. Think about what works for you, pay attention to how your body feels, and choose what helps you sleep well.