Does Cold Weather Impact Hearing Aid Operation?

Senior friends wearing aids enjoying a day on the slopes

In contrast to popular opinion, winter is fun! Okay, it can certainly be a bummer if you need to get somewhere. Or if you’re not properly prepared. But during those chilly winter months, you can find lots of fun things to do.

Still not convinced? Well, here are just a few instances of how cold weather can be fun: you could go sledding or skiing. You could have some fun on a snowmobile! You could go out onto the ice for some ice skating or ice fishing. With the proper gear, winter can be just as much of an outdoor season as spring, summer, or autumn (and the hot chocolate is so much more satisfying when you’ve been outside in the cold).

But the secret here is using the appropriate gear. Maybe you’re wondering if your hearing aid counts as part of that gear and whether it will be effected by the cold. Can the cold damage my hearing aids?

Up to a point, most hearing aids will be fine in any weather

Hearing aids are meant to be used full-time. They’re constructed so you can wear them to the grocery store, out on a hike, or simply around the house. Which means that hearing aid manufacturers are aware that these devices may take a beating. We don’t recommend you do anything extreme with your hearing aids, just remember that they’re made to accompany you throughout your normal daily activities.

As a result, most hearing aids are made to be somewhat “all-weather”. The safe temperature range for the majority of hearing aids is from -13 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. There are some spots that will sometimes go below -13 but otherwise, that covers the broad spectrum of temperatures.

You will be capable of hearing well in the majority of environments and that’s a great thing. So why don’t my hearing aids seem to work as well when it’s really cold? Well, drops in temperature will put strain on your devices, so while they may function, they may not work optimally.

Guidelines for hearing aids in the winter

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help make sure your hearing aids continue to work at peak efficiency (or near enough) even in cold weather.

  • Keep your hearing aids secured in your ear by using accessories.: In order to be sure your hearing aids stay securely in place in your ears you can make use of one of many available straps or clips. This can be especially significant if you’re engaged in strenuous activity, like skiing, skating, or sledding.
  • We can help ensure your hearing aid fits correctly: Sometimes, when they get really cold, hearing aids can become uncomfortable. Talk to us about the fit of your devices to give yourself the chance to decrease discomfort.
  • When you aren’t using your hearing aids, store them in a dry and warm spot: Your hearing aid will work better and with fewer issues if you keep moisture out of it. You’re most likely asking: “How do I eliminate moisture from my hearing aids”? In most situations, you can dry it off and then put it somewhere dry and warm.
  • Try wearing a hat or earmuffs: Wearing a hat or earmuffs will keep both your ears and your hearing aid cozy. And your hearing aids will work at their maximum level if they are warm. Your next question may be: can I wear ear muffs over my hearing aid without affecting my hearing? Well, it depends on the hearing aid, but in most cases, your hearing aids will still continue to work.
  • Check your batteries (and make sure they’re charged): Do hearing aid batteries freeze? Well, not really. But cold weather can drain your batteries faster than warm weather. This means you’ll want to be certain you have a full charge before going out into any inclement weather.
  • Try not to get your hearing aids wet: Be careful not to get snow on your hearing aid because when snow melts, things get wet. 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. This means your hearing aid can probably get a little wet, but it’s not a great idea to leave it that way longer than necessary.

Perhaps you’re wondering how to safeguard your hearing aids when it gets cold. That’s exactly what we’re going to explore.

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

Sometimes, unfortunately, your hearing aid will stop working even when the weather is warm and dry. You can take a few basic measures to troubleshoot your device (for example, ensure the batteries are charged and that your devices are good and dry). If you still can’t determine why they aren’t working, we should be able to help you with that.

You can still enjoy life even in the cold!

When it’s -10 degrees outside, it’s reasonable that you would want to stay inside. Maybe you’re not a winter person. Maybe a delicious warm bowl of soup would hit the spot. Perhaps you’re not a big fan of snowmobiles. The essential thing is that it shouldn’t be your hearing aids that are stopping you from living your best winter life.

If you observe the guidelines above and take good care of your hearing aids, this is especially true. Call us if you have any concerns about how your hearing aids might 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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