Contrary to popular opinion, winter is fun! Alright, it can certainly be a bummer if you have to get anywhere. 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 it? Skiing and sledding aren’t the only fun things you can do in the winter. You could have a good time on a snowmobile! Or you could get a pair of ice skates and spend some time out on the ice. With the correct gear, winter can be just as much of an outdoor season as spring, summer, or fall (and the hot chocolate is so much more satisfying when you’ve been outdoors in the cold).
But the key here is having the right gear. Perhaps you’re wondering if your hearing aid counts as part of that gear and whether it will be impacted by the cold. Can the cold damage my hearing aids?
Most hearing aids are designed to be all-weather… to a point
Hearing aids are made to be used full-time. They’re constructed so you can wear them to the supermarket, out for a hike, or simply around the house. Which means that hearing aid manufacturers understand that these devices may take a pounding. But just because hearing aids are meant to be worn all of the time doesn’t mean you should do anything drastic with them.
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 get colder than -13 but usually, that covers the broad range of temperatures.
Which is a good thing! It means you’ll be able to hear in most environments. Now, you might be thinking: if that’s true, why don’t my hearing aids work as well in the cold? Well, drops in temperature will put strain on your devices, so while they may function, they may not operate optimally.
Tips for hearing aids in the winter
You can keep your hearing aids working at near maximum efficiency if you take a few steps.
- Monitor your batteries (and make sure they’re charged): Do hearing aid batteries freeze? Well, not really. But cold weather can kill your batteries faster than warm weather. So before you go out in the cold, be sure your battery is completely charged.
- It helps to wear earmuffs or a hat: Not only will this keep your ears warm, it’ll keep your hearing aids toasty, as well! And the warmer your hearing aids are, the more ideally they’ll be working. 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 keep working.
- When you aren’t wearing your hearing aids, keep them in a dry and warm place: Your hearing aid will function better and with fewer issues if you keep moisture out of it. You’re probably asking: “How do I remove moisture from my hearing aids”? Normally, you can wipe it down and allow it to air dry in a warm spot.
- We can help ensure your hearing aid fits correctly: At times, when they get really cold, hearing aids can be uncomfortable. Decrease any possible discomfort by getting help from us with the fit of your device.
- Try not to get your hearing aids wet: When snow melts, it becomes water, 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 snowing or raining”? Yes, you can. Most hearing aids are water resistant but not necessarily waterproof. So while your hearing aid will probably be fine if it gets a little wet, you should dry it as soon as you can.
- Make use of accessories to keep your hearing aids strapped to your ears: In order to be sure your hearing aids stay securely in place in your ears you can make use of one of many available clips or straps. This can be particularly relevant if you’re involved in strenuous activity, including skiing, skating, or sledding.
So, if you’re wondering: how can I safeguard my hearing aids in the winter? Well, now you have some answers.
What should you do if your hearing aids quit working?
Occasionally, unfortunately, your hearing aid will quit working even when the weather is warm and dry. There are a few basic troubleshooting measures you can take (make sure your device is dry and the batteries are charged, for instance). But if those steps don’t help, we should be able to help you identify the cause of the issue and the best way to fix it.
Don’t let cold weather stop you from enjoying life!
There are lots of reasons why you may want to stay indoors when it’s -10 degrees outside. Maybe you aren’t a winter person. Maybe a delicious hot bowl of soup would do the trick. Possibly snowmobiles aren’t your jam. What’s important here is not to let problems with your hearing aid impact your quality of life, even during the winter.
If you follow the tips above and take good care of your hearing aids, this is particularly true. Give us a call if you have any concerns about how your hearing aids may be impacted by the cold.