Does Cold Weather Impact Hearing Aid Performance?

Senior friends wearing aids enjoying a day on the slopes

Lots of people really love winter! Well, if you have to go somewhere, it can certainly be difficult. Or if you don’t have the correct gear (or proper infrastructure). But during those chilly winter months, you can find plenty of fun things to do.

Don’t believe it? Well, here are only 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 head out onto the ice for some ice skating or ice fishing. 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 outside in the cold).

But the key here is using the appropriate gear. You might be thinking: Does my hearing aid count as “the right gear”… and if so, will cold air affect my hearing aids? Can the cold damage my hearing aids?

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

Hearing aids are designed to be worn every day. They’re made to be worn pretty much everywhere you go. Which means that hearing aid makers are aware that these devices might take a beating. We don’t suggest you do anything drastic with your hearing aids, just keep in mind that they’re designed to accompany you throughout your normal daily activities.

Consequently, most hearing aids are manufactured to be somewhat “all-weather”. Most hearing aids can operate quite well between the temperatures of -13 and 158 degrees Fahrenheit. There are some places that will sometimes get colder than -13 but usually, that covers the broad spectrum of temperatures.

You will be capable of hearing well in the majority of settings 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 might operate, they may not work at their best.

Guidelines for hearing aids in the winter

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

  • Keep your hearing aids secured in your ear by utilizing accessories.: In order to ensure your hearing aids stay securely in place in your ears you can utilize one of many available straps or clips. This can be especially important if you’re involved in strenuous activity, like skiing, skating, or sledding.
  • Talk to us about the fit of your hearing aids: Hearing aids can sometimes be uncomfortable when they’re cold. Speak with us about the fit of your devices to give yourself the opportunity to minimize discomfort.
  • Make sure you have freshly charged batteries: Can 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, make sure your battery is fully charged.
  • When you aren’t using your hearing aids, keep them in a dry and warm place: This will help stop moisture from causing issues with your hearing aids. 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 not to let your hearing aid wet: 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 snow and rain, the answer is yes. Although most hearing aren’t waterproof, they are typically water resistant. 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 you have to.
  • It helps to wear earmuffs or a hat: Wearing earmuffs or a hat will keep both your ears and your hearing aid toasty. And your hearing aids will operate at their maximum level if they’re warm. Perhaps you’re wondering whether your hearing aids will still function if you have earmuffs over them. Most hearing aids will still work just fine with earmuffs on.

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

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

Occasionally, unfortunately, your hearing aid will quit working even when the weather is warm and dry. You can take a few basic steps to troubleshoot your device (make sure your device is dry and the batteries are charged, for instance). If you still can’t determine why they aren’t working, we should be able to assist you with that.

You can still enjoy life even in the cold!

When it’s -10 degrees outside, it’s understandable that you would want to stay inside. Maybe you’re not a winter person. Maybe a nice warm bowl of soup would do the trick. Maybe you’re not a big fan of snowmobiles. 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. If you have any questions about how cold weather may effect the performance of your hearing aids, talk to us today!

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.