Can You Sleep with Your Hearing Aids In?

This blog post has been reviewed and approved by a hearing healthcare professional.

A common question that clients ask is if it is safe to wear hearing aids to sleep. While it may sound practical, we strongly advise our clients to not sleep with their hearing aids in their ears. There are several reasons why you shouldn’t sleep with your hearing aids in.
Comfort

Depending on how you sleep, you may experience discomfort if you fall asleep with your hearing aids in your ear.

 

When you sleep on your side, the hearing aid is being pressed into your ear by the pillow or mattress. When you sleep on your back, Behind-The-Ear (BTE) hearing aids get pushed by the pillow or mattress.

 

You also want to give your skin a chance to breathe and for earwax to gradually make its way out of the ear. Many hearing aids are made out of materials that aren’t breathable, so taking them out at night gives your ears that chance.

Creating Feedback
Every time the microphones on the hearing aid get covered by a pillow, mattress or bed sheet, there is the possibility for it to create feedback noise. The feedback will sound like whistling, squealing, or chirping sounds. This feedback will make it more difficult for you or anyone sleeping next to you to stay asleep.
Damage to Hearing Aids

Falling asleep with your hearing aids in could also damage them. If you sleep on your side the risk of this increases. This is because of the pressure from the weight of your head and the firmness of the pillow can bend or break parts of your hearing aid.

 

Even if you aren’t a side sleeper, your hearing aids could fall out while you are sleeping and end up lost or damaged.

What If I Fall Asleep With My Hearing Aids In?

We have many clients that will fall asleep watching television on their couch and wake up later with hearing aids still in their ears, which is fine. You may think that means there is no risk to sleeping with hearing aids, but it depends entirely on how you sleep. If you are propped up in a recliner, you will be fine. The risk only comes from having your hearing aids pressed by resting your head on a pillow while lying down.


Falling asleep with your hearing aids on its own is not detrimental to your hearing health. You will want to make sure that the hearing aid fits securely on your ear so they don’t get lost and try not to make it a habit of going to bed with them on.


You may think that you have to always wear your hearing aids to sleep so you can hear an alarm to wake you up or warn you of a fire. If you feel you must sleep with your hearing aids in, speak with your hearing health care provider first. 


It is important to understand if there are other alerting devices or accessories that may be a better option for the safety concern or challenge you are looking to overcome. There are many devices such as bed shakers, vibrating or flashing alarms and alarm clocks that may be better suited to your unique situation than sleeping with your hearing aids in.



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