Deaf and swimming?

zeefour

Active Member
Not sure if this is the right place to post but anyone else out there a swimmer? I was on swim team when I was younger but it was easier with my whole team and coach knowing I couldn't hear. Now I swim regularly at the gym but keep running into people trying to communicate with me and I'm in the pool without my hearing aids on. I know it sounds silly but, any suggestions?

Also my hearing aids and any moisture, they seem more sensitive than the ones I had when I was younger.
 

DeafDucky

Well-Known Member
I grew up swimming on a summer swim team so everyone knew I was deaf and blind (literally- no lenses and no glasses all I could see were colors and shapes that looked well like a cracked picture). They all knew to watch out for me.

As for swimming at the gym... I haven't done that in a long time so am not much help. If I did get back to swimming, I'd probably try to pick a day/time where there's very little 'traffic' in the pool. Usually people are too busy swimming laps to 'socialize'... but best case scenario point to ear and shake head... worse case climb out of pool and get a writing tablet (or boogie board- modern day etch a sketch)...but neither of those are water proof lol- white board maybe.

Best of luck! And good on you for keeping up swimming! I wish I had.
 

femme Fatale

Official AD Nutcracker
I do recreational swimming at a pool center. This is something I keep pointing out, the majority of the general population do not know sign. So what I do is keep my CI processor on hand in a mini waterproof container called an otter box. You’ll need to be very careful when removing your device to hear, the chance to drop it in the pool is there.
 

Jane B.

Well-Known Member
I grew up swimming on a summer swim team so everyone knew I was deaf and blind (literally- no lenses and no glasses all I could see were colors and shapes that looked well like a cracked picture). They all knew to watch out for me.

As for swimming at the gym... I haven't done that in a long time so am not much help. If I did get back to swimming, I'd probably try to pick a day/time where there's very little 'traffic' in the pool. Usually people are too busy swimming laps to 'socialize'... but best case scenario point to ear and shake head... worse case climb out of pool and get a writing tablet (or boogie board- modern day etch a sketch)...but neither of those are water proof lol- white board maybe.

Best of luck! And good on you for keeping up swimming! I wish I had.
You just reminded me of a friend I grew up with that wore thick glasses from the age of 2 or 3. She always kept her old pair to wear in the pool. One time we were doing bobs in 8 1/2 feet of water and someone going by kicked as we were down. One lens came out of her glasses. I got the job of diving for that lens. Did find it and then went back into the bathouse to get her currant pair to finish the day in.
 

Jane B.

Well-Known Member
I do recreational swimming at a pool center. This is something I keep pointing out, the majority of the general population do not know sign. So what I do is keep my CI processor on hand in a mini waterproof container called an otter box. You’ll need to be very careful when removing your device to hear, the chance to drop it in the pool is there.
I know it would be an additional cost but I thought most of the CI companies had come out with waterproof processors (thinking of AB's Neptune) and/or cases to use for their regular processors when swimming.
 

ecp

Member
I love swimming and when doing laps I have no need to hear or see (without glasses I’m legally blind but I’d never claim to be “Blind” just as when I had hard of hearing, I never claimed to be “Deaf”). It is just me and the water. If I’m sharing lanes with someone, I let them know early that I’m deaf and can’t see very far so come up with a signal if we need to pass. If I’m doing backstroke...well hopefully I’ll have a lane to myself for backstroke.

It may be worth the $ to get a swim cap that says DEAF and maybe get iron on letters for your swim suit that say “DEAF”.

Remember that the ONLY thing Deaf people CAN’T do is hear.
 

toffeekukki

Active Member
I am very lucky with this one, my husband goes every where with me. Do you have a friend or someone to go with you? It is not always ideal to have a person at your side 24/7
I point to my ears and shake my head or point to my ears and make a gesture to say no then mouth sorry.
Even though I have only done this from a distance it has worked for me.
Most people will just walk away and understand but I have not had to do this much.
 

zeefour

Active Member
Hi everyone! Thanks for such great responses (like I'd expect anything less from AD though right?) Sorry I didn't get back to everyone sooner.

@DeafDucky Yep that's pretty much what I do now. My gym is full of out of control kids though and I've had to go complain sometimes which makes it harder. After I approached the lifeguard about kids throwing trash in the outdoor pool a mom came up to my lane and started screaming, she was apparently cussing me out and threatening me according to other swimmers. When I didn't respond it only got worse, and when I finally saw her and later with my HAs asked what had been going on she'd complained to management about me haha. I'm switching gyms soon though, so for now I'll stick with the point at my ears and shake thing.

I do have nice people in the locker room try to talk to me and not realize it until I've put my hearing aids back in. Once they see that they almost all understand why I didn't respond, but sometimes they've left before that. I just don't want people thinking I'm rude!

@Jane B. Good idea about at least a waterproof box. I've put my hearing aids in a little one with my towel and then dried off super well and put them in while I'm in the hot tub. For now with my crappy old ones I feel okay doing this, when I get my expensive fancy new ones I'll reassess! lol

@toffeekukki I go most places by myself. I have a dog I'm training but I still don't think I'd bring him to the gym just because I don't really -need- him there, I need him for busy and/or outside places where there's risks I can't hear even with my HAs like approaching cars or the background noise is too bad and there's things I need to hear that could be threatening.

There is a tiny dry erase board at work that's extra I might borrow that @femme Fatale to write a note to put at the end of my lane in case someone is trying to get my attention or wants to ask to share a lane or something. I tried a piece of paper once and obviously that didn't work well lol. I felt aa little weird with the sign, I don't know why, I'm not self conscious of my hearing loss but writing it down to put it there as a label of sorts was weird to me. If other people have done things like this it's reassuring.

Thanks again everyone, happy swimming!!
 

Jane B.

Well-Known Member
@Jane B. Good idea about at least a waterproof box. I've put my hearing aids in a little one with my towel and then dried off super well and put them in while I'm in the hot tub. For now with my crappy old ones I feel okay doing this, when I get my expensive fancy new ones I'll reassess! lol [/QUOTE]

Do your old ones still help at all? If so, how about doing what my friend did with glasses (keep the old pair and wear just for things like swimming).
 

zeefour

Active Member
@Jane B. Good idea about at least a waterproof box. I've put my hearing aids in a little one with my towel and then dried off super well and put them in while I'm in the hot tub. For now with my crappy old ones I feel okay doing this, when I get my expensive fancy new ones I'll reassess! lol
Do your old ones still help at all? If so, how about doing what my friend did with glasses (keep the old pair and wear just for things like swimming).[/QUOTE]

That's a really great idea. They aren't great but def better than nothing! I just have to be carefuĺ until i get my new ones which is taking forever. Thanks DVR
 
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