Does Cold Weather Impact Hearing Aid Performance?

Senior friends wearing aids enjoying a day on the slopes

Lots of individuals really enjoy winter! Okay, it can certainly be a bummer if you need to get anywhere. Or if you don’t have the correct 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 instances of how cold weather can be enjoyable: you could go sledding or skiing. You could have a good time on a snowmobile! Or you could get a pair of ice skates and spend a little time out on the ice. With the right gear, winter can be just as much of an outdoor season as spring, summer, or autumn (and the hot chocolate is so much more rewarding when you’ve been outdoors in the cold).

But the secret here is having the right gear. Maybe you’re wondering if your hearing aid counts as part of that gear and whether it will be impacted by the cold. Or can cold weather damage my hearing aids?

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

Hearing aids are designed to be worn every day. They’re meant to be worn pretty much everywhere you go. The makers of these devices understand that they need to have a resilient construction. But just because hearing aids are designed to be worn all of the time doesn’t mean you should do anything extreme with them.

The majority of hearing aids are built to be basically “all weather” as a result. Most hearing aids can function quite well between the temperatures of -13 and 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 able to hear well in most environments and that’s a wonderful 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 stress on your devices, so while they might work, they may not operate optimally.

Some winter hearing aid advice

Luckily, there are certain things you can do to help make sure your hearing aids continue to work at maximum efficiency (or close enough) even in cold weather.

  • Check your batteries (and make sure they’re charged): Hearing aid batteries don’t necessarily freeze but they will die faster in the cold. So before you go out in the cold, be sure your battery is completely charged.
  • Keep your hearing aids someplace warm and dry when you aren’t wearing them: This will help prevent moisture from causing problems with your hearing aids. Maybe you’re not sure how to remove moisture from your hearing aid. In most instances, you can dry it off and then leave it somewhere dry and warm.
  • Letting your hearing aids get wet isn’t a smart idea: 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 snowing or raining”? Yes, you can. Most hearing aids are water resistant but not necessarily waterproof. This means your hearing aid can most likely get a little wet, but it’s not a great idea to leave it that way longer than you have to.
  • Try wearing a hat or earmuffs: Wearing earmuffs or a hat will keep both your ears and your hearing aid cozy. And your hearing aids will work at their optimal level if they are warm. Your next question might 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.
  • Consult us about the fit of your hearing aids: 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 opportunity to minimize discomfort.
  • Keep your hearing aids secured in your ear by making use of accessories.: There are all manner of straps and clips you can make use of to make sure your hearing aids stay in place. If you’re doing any strenuous activities like snowboarding or sledding, this is particularly true.

So, if you’re wondering: how do I protect my hearing aids in the winter? Well, now you’ve got some answers.

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

Of course, even in the best possible weather conditions, your hearing aid might occasionally stop working. You can take a few basic steps to troubleshoot your device (for example, make sure the batteries are charged and that your devices are nice and dry). But if those steps don’t help, we should be able to help you determine the cause of the issue and the best way to fix it.

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

There are plenty of reasons why you might want to stay inside when it’s -10 degrees outside. Maybe you’re not a winter person. Perhaps a nice warm bowl of soup would do the trick. Maybe snowmobiles aren’t your jam. What’s important here is not to let issues with your hearing aid impact your quality of life, even during the winter.

That’s especially true if you take care of your devices, and follow the guidelines outlined above. If you have any questions about how cold weather may effect the performance of your hearing aids, call 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.