Does Cold Weather Impact Hearing Aid Operation?

Senior friends wearing aids enjoying a day on the slopes

Lots of people really love winter! Well, if you need to go somewhere, it can certainly be a challenge. Or if you don’t have the proper gear (or proper infrastructure). But there are lots of fun things to do in those chillier winter months.

Still not convinced? Skiing and sledding aren’t the only fun things you can do in the winter. You could go for a snowmobile ride. You could go out onto the ice for some ice skating or ice fishing. You can enjoy being outdoors in the winter just as much as the summer, spring, or, fall if you have the correct gear.

But that’s an important caveat: you need the proper gear to remain comfortable. You might be thinking: Does my hearing aid count as “the right gear”… and if so, will cold weather affect my hearing aids? Or will cold weather damage my hearing aids?

Most hearing aids are made to be all-weather… to a point

Hearing aids are meant to be used full-time. They’re made to be worn pretty much everywhere you go. Which means that hearing aid manufacturers are aware that these devices might take a pounding. We don’t recommend you do anything drastic with your hearing aids, just keep in mind that they’re made to accompany you throughout your normal daily activities.

The majority of hearing aids are built to be basically “all weather” as a result. The safe temperature range for the majority of hearing aids is from -13 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. That covers the broad spectrum of temperature possibilities (even though there are some places, especially up north, that will sometimes get colder than -13 degrees).

You will be able to hear well in most environments and that’s a great thing. Now, you might be thinking: if that’s true, why don’t my hearing aids function as well in the winter? Well, drops in temperature will put strain on your devices, so while they may work, they might not work optimally.

Some winter hearing aid guidelines

You can keep your hearing aids functioning at close to maximum efficiency if you take a few measures.

  • We can help ensure your hearing aid fits properly: At times, when they get really cold, hearing aids can be uncomfortable. Reduce any possible discomfort by getting help from us with the fit of your device.
  • Keep your hearing aids secured in your ear by utilizing accessories.: There are all manner of straps and clips you can use to make sure your hearing aids stay in place. If you’re doing any strenuous activities like snowboarding or sledding, this is specifically relevant.
  • Getting your hearing aid wet isn’t a good idea: When snow melts, it’s wet, so be careful about exposing your hearing aids to snow. If you’re going to ask, “Well, can I use hearing aids when it’s raining or snowing”? Yes, you can. Most hearing aids are water resistant but not necessarily waterproof. So while your hearing aid will most likely be okay if it gets a bit wet, you should dry it as soon as possible.
  • Be certain you have freshly charged batteries: Can hearing aid batteries freeze? Well, not really. But cold weather can drain your batteries faster than warm weather. So before you go out in the cold, be sure your battery is fully charged.
  • Keep your hearing aids someplace warm and dry when you aren’t wearing them: This will help prevent moisture from causing problems with your hearing aids. You’re most likely asking: “How do I eliminate moisture from my hearing aids”? In most instances, you can dry it off and then leave it someplace warm and dry.
  • It helps to wear earmuffs or a hat: Not only will this keep your ears cozy, it’ll keep your hearing aids toasty, too! And the warmer your hearing aids are, the more ideally they’ll be functioning. Your next question might be: can I wear ear muffs over my hearing aid without affecting my hearing? Most hearing aids will still work just fine with earmuffs on.

Perhaps you’re wondering how to safeguard your hearing aids when it gets cold. Well, now you have some answers.

If your hearing aid stops working, what should you do?

Sometimes, unfortunately, your hearing aid will stop working even when the weather is warm and dry. There are a few practical troubleshooting steps you can take (for instance, ensure the batteries are charged and that your devices are nice and dry). But if those steps don’t help, we should be able to help you determine the cause of the problem and the best way to fix it.

You can still enjoy life even when it’s cold!

There are lots of reasons why you may want to stay indoors when it’s -10 degrees outside. Maybe you’re not a winter person. Maybe you’re going to make yourself some yummy hot soup. Perhaps you’re not a big fan of snowmobiles. What’s important here is not to let issues with your hearing aid diminish your quality of life, even during the winter.

If you observe the guidelines above and take good care of your hearing aids, this is especially true. Give us a call if you have any concerns about how your hearing aids may be impacted by the cold.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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