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

Senior friends wearing aids enjoying a day on the slopes

Contrary to popular belief, winter is fun! Alright, it can certainly be a bummer if you need to get anywhere. Or if you don’t have the proper gear (or proper infrastructure). But during those chilly winter months, you can find plenty of enjoyable things to do.

Still not convinced? Well, here are just a few examples of how cold weather can be fun: you could go sledding or skiing. You could have a good time 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 fall (and the hot chocolate is so much more satisfying when you’ve been outside in the cold).

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

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

Hearing aids are designed to be used full-time. They’re constructed so you can wear them to the supermarket, out on a hike, or just around the house. Which means that hearing aid makers 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 manufactured to accompany you throughout your normal daily tasks.

Consequently, most hearing aids are manufactured 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 places that will sometimes get colder than -13 but otherwise, that covers the broad spectrum of temperatures.

Which is a good thing! It means you’ll be able to hear in most settings. Now, you might be thinking: if that’s true, why don’t my hearing aids function as well in the cold? Well, drops in temperature will put strain on your devices, so while they might function, they may not work at their best.

Tips for hearing aids in the winter

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

  • It helps to wear a hat or earmuffs: Wearing earmuffs or a hat will keep both your ears and your hearing aid warm. And the warmer your hearing aids are, the more ideally they’ll be working. Maybe you’re wondering whether your hearing aids will still work if you have earmuffs over them. 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, 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. Perhaps you’re not certain how to eliminate moisture from your hearing aid. In most instances, you can dry it off and then put it someplace dry and warm.
  • We can help make sure your hearing aid fits correctly: At times, when they get really cold, hearing aids can become uncomfortable. Speak with us about the fit of your devices to give yourself the chance to lessen discomfort.
  • Keep your hearing aids secured in your ear by making use of accessories.: In order to ensure your hearing aids remain securely in place in your ears you can utilize one of many available straps or clips. This can be especially significant if you’re involved in strenuous activity, such as skiing, skating, or sledding.
  • Check 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, make sure your battery is completely charged.
  • Letting your hearing aids get wet isn’t a smart idea: When snow melts, it becomes water, so be mindful about exposing your hearing aids to snow. If you’re going to ask, “Well, can I wear hearing aids when it’s snowing or raining”? Yes, you can. Most hearing aids are water resistant but not usually waterproof. This means your hearing aid can most likely get a little wet, but it’s not a very good idea to leave it that way longer than necessary.

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

What should you do if your hearing aids stop working?

Sometimes, unfortunately, your hearing aid will quit working even when the weather is warm and dry. There are a few standard troubleshooting steps you can take (for example, make sure the batteries are charged and that your devices are good and dry). If you still can’t determine why they’re not working, we should be able to help you with that.

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

When it’s -10 degrees outside, it’s reasonable that you would want to stay indoors. Perhaps you aren’t a winter person. Maybe you’re going to cook yourself some nice warm soup. Possibly snowmobiles aren’t your jam. What’s important here is not to let issues with your hearing aid diminish your quality of life, even when it’s winter.

That’s particularly true if you take care of your devices, and follow the tips outlined above. If you have any questions about how cold weather may impact 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.


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