Is the Performance of a Hearing Aid Affected by Cold Weather?

Senior friends wearing aids enjoying a day on the slopes

Contrary to popular opinion, winter is fun! Well, if you need to go somewhere, it can definitely be a challenge. Or if you don’t have the correct gear (or proper infrastructure). But there are lots of fun things to do in those colder winter months.

Don’t believe us? Well, here are only a few instances of how cold weather can be fun: you could go skiing or sledding. You could take a snowmobile ride. You could go out onto the ice for some ice skating or ice fishing. With the right gear, winter can be just as much of an outdoor season as spring, summer, or fall (and the hot cocoa is so much more rewarding when you’ve been outside in the cold).

But that’s a significant caveat: you need the right gear to remain comfortable. You may be thinking: Does my hearing aid count as “the right gear”… and if so, will cold air impact my hearing aids? Can the cold damage my hearing aids?

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

Hearing aids are made to be used full-time. They’re built so you can wear them to the grocery store, out for a hike, or simply around the house. The manufacturers of these devices are well aware that they need to have a robust construction. We don’t suggest you do anything extreme with your hearing aids, just remember that they’re manufactured to accompany you throughout your normal daily tasks.

Consequently, most hearing aids are designed to be somewhat “all-weather”. Most hearing aids can work quite nicely between the temperatures of -13 and 158 degrees Fahrenheit. There are some spots that will sometimes get colder than -13 but otherwise, that covers the broad range 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 very cold? Hearing aids will work in the cold, just perhaps not as well.

Tips for hearing aids in the winter

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

  • We can help make sure your hearing aid fits properly: Sometimes, 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.
  • When you aren’t using your hearing aids, store them in a dry and warm place: Your hearing aid will work better and with fewer issues if you keep moisture out of it. Maybe you aren’t certain how to eliminate moisture from your hearing aid. Normally, you can wipe it down and allow it to air dry in a warm spot.
  • Getting your hearing aid wet isn’t a good idea: Be cautious not to get snow on your hearing aid because when snow melts, things get wet. If you’re wondering whether you can use your hearing aids in the rain or snow, the answer is yes. Most hearing aids are water resistant but not necessarily waterproof. So while your hearing aid will most likely be okay if it gets a little wet, you should dry it as soon as you can.
  • 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, make sure your battery is fully charged.
  • Try wearing a hat or earmuffs: Wearing earmuffs or a hat will keep both your ears and your hearing aid cozy. And the warmer your hearing aids are, the more optimally they’ll be functioning. Your next question may be: can I wear ear muffs over my hearing aid without affecting my hearing? Most hearing aids will continue to work just fine with earmuffs on.
  • Make use of accessories to keep your hearing aids secured to your ears: In order to make sure your hearing aids remain securely in place in your ears you can utilize one of many available clips or straps. This can be especially important if you’re involved in strenuous activity, such as skiing, skating, or sledding.

So, if you’re wondering: how can I protect my hearing aids in the winter? That’s precisely what we’re going to explore.

What should you do if your hearing aids quit working?

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

Don’t let cold weather keep you from enjoying life!

When it’s -10 degrees outside, it’s understandable that you would want to stay inside. Perhaps you aren’t a winter person. Maybe a delicious hot bowl of soup would do the trick. Maybe snowmobiles aren’t your jam. The important thing is that it shouldn’t be your hearing aids that are stopping you from living your greatest winter life.

That’s particularly true if you take care of your devices, and observe the tips outlined above. Call us if you have any questions about how your hearing aids might be impacted by the cold.

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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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