Many people consider flying a glamorous career or pastime, but like any other thing, it has its pros and cons. For example, flying can increase your risk of developing hearing damage. The United States has more than half a million pilots, which means this is no small issue. Here is the information you need to know if you are planning to fly with hearing aids:

The Cause

Flying exposes your ears to loud noises (especially when flying a light aircraft that aren't suitably shielded from engine noises), and loud noise is a recipe for hearing damage. Noise-induced hearing loss occurs when the sound vibrations damage the hair cells that pick up sounds by vibrating whenever sound waves enter the eardrum. Extremely loud noises can even damage the eardrum. The damage may be temporary or permanent depending on the duration of the exposure, the overall health of the pilot, and the volume of the offending noise. This means flying every day is more dangerous (for the ears) than intermittent flying.

How to Deal With It

The good news, as seasoned pilots will tell you, is to choose the best (for the job) headset and wear it every time you fly. Here are some of the points to guide you in choosing the right headset:

  • Choose headsets with ergonomic ear cups for maximum protection and best comfort.
  • Choose the best headset for your type of plane; for example, passive headsets (that block noise by physically blocking it) are better suited for open cockpit planes.
  • Test your headset in the store to ensure that it fits well and is comfortable enough extended flying; otherwise, you may find yourself ditching it after some time.
  • Ensure the headset has a sensitive microphone so that you can still communicate while wearing it.

Apart from wearing the right headset, it's important to take care of all your hearing-related issues before getting into the cockpit. A slight discomfort on the ground will only get worse when you are up in the sky and your ears are exposed to loud noises. Therefore, if you have even a mild form of hearing damage, don't enroll for flight school until you can get it checked out.

Hopefully, you won't develop any hearing damage as a result of your flying. Even if you aren't interested in flying, you probably know someone who does.  Pass on this information to them so that they can take precautions to preserve their hearing.

Contact a hearing aids service for more information and assistance.