July 29, 2022
Hear for the long run

No, that’s not a typo. You might not know that I have almost no hearing in one of my ears and I wear a hearing aid to help me with most of my daily interactions. A couple of people have asked me how this affects my running and the short answer is, hardly at all!

If anything, a hearing aid is actually an advantage when I run, because I can Bluetooth my music to it even when I’ve forgotten my headphones. It’s discrete, comfortable and has made my runs feel better in many ways. Before, I used to be unsure of traffic and pedestrians, especially if they were behind me, but now I feel so much ‘safer’ in that I know what is going on all around. I can pick up the ‘little’ noises, feet on the footpath behind me, cars approaching, dogs in the yard up ahead. I can also chat with other runners, regardless of which side of me they’re on, and I can adjust the volume in that ear if I ever need to.

A cool non running quirk is that I can stream ALL my devices to my hearing aid. The tv, my phone, the kitchen speakers, anything. So if the family need to listen to a show at one volume but I can’t hear it, I just turn up the volume in my hearing aid and its all better! I can also use my phone as a hearing aid ‘receiver’ in noisy places like restaurants. I put it on the table in front of the person who is speaking and their voice streams directly in my ear. Pretty cool, huh?

As an extra precaution when I’m running, I wear bone conducting headphones that don’t sit ‘in’ my ears leaving them open to pick up whatever limited sounds they can. The real estate around my ears does get pretty busy though! I wear glasses, headphones, a hearing aid, a visor and sometimes a mask! So yes, the backs of my ears are often sore at the end of the day.

So if by chance your hearing is becoming an issue, I strongly recommend a trip to the ENT or the audiologist. This little device has vastly improved my life and my runs. It’s made me less reliant on lip reading and guess work and improved my confidence and quality of interraction. That inner voice that says don’t ignore the problem? It’s definitely worth listening to!