Lots of people really enjoy winter! Okay, it can definitely be a bummer if you need to go somewhere. Or if you aren’t properly prepared. But there are plenty of fun things to do in those chillier winter months.
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! Or you could grab 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 cocoa is so much more satisfying when you’ve been outdoors in the cold).
But that’s a significant caveat: you need the correct gear to stay comfortable. You might be thinking: Does my hearing aid count as “the right gear”… and if so, will cold weather impact my hearing aids? Will the cold damage my hearing aids?
Up to a point, most hearing aids will be fine in any weather
Hearing aids are designed to be used on a daily basis. They’re made to be worn pretty much everywhere you go. The manufacturers of these devices are well aware that they need to have a resilient construction. We don’t recommend you do anything drastic with your hearing aids, just keep in mind that they’re manufactured to go along with you throughout your normal daily tasks.
As a result, most hearing aids are designed to be somewhat “all-weather”. The safe temperature range for most hearing aids is from -13 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. That covers the broad range of temperature possibilities (though there are some places, particularly up north, that will sometimes get colder than -13 degrees).
Which is a good thing! It means you’ll be capable of hearing in most environments. Now, you might be thinking: if that’s true, why don’t my hearing aids work as well in the winter? Well, drops in temperature will put strain on your devices, so while they may function, they might not work optimally.
Some winter hearing aid guidelines
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help ensure your hearing aids continue to function at peak efficiency (or close enough) even in cold weather.
- Make sure you have freshly charged batteries: Can hearing aid batteries freeze? Well, not really. But cold weather can drain your batteries faster than warm weather. This means you’ll want to be certain you have a full charge before going out into any inclement weather.
- Keep your hearing aids secured in your ear by using accessories.: There are all kinds of straps and clips you can use to make sure your hearing aids stay in place. This can be particularly relevant if you’re involved in strenuous activity, like skiing, skating, or sledding.
- Talk to us about how your hearing aids are fitting: Sometimes, when they get really cold, hearing aids can be uncomfortable. Talk to us about the fit of your devices to give yourself the opportunity to minimize discomfort.
- When you’re not wearing your hearing aids, store them in a dry and warm place: Your hearing aid will function better and with fewer problems if you keep moisture out of it. Perhaps you’re not sure how to remove moisture from your hearing aid. Usually, you can wipe it down and let it air dry in a warm spot.
- It’s helpful to wear earmuffs or a hat: Not only will this keep your ears warm, it’ll keep your hearing aids toasty, too! And your hearing aids will function at their optimal level if they’re warm. Your next question may be: can I wear ear muffs over my hearing aid without impacting my hearing? Well, it depends on the hearing aid, but in most cases, your hearing aids will still continue to work.
- Getting your hearing aid 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 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. This means your hearing aid can most likely get a bit wet, but it’s not a very good idea to leave it that way longer than you have to.
So, if you’re wondering: how can I protect my hearing aids in the winter? That’s exactly what we’re going to find out.
What should you do if your hearing aids stop working?
Of course, even in the best possible weather conditions, your hearing aid may occasionally stop working. There are a few standard troubleshooting steps 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 problem and the best way to fix it.
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. Maybe you aren’t a winter person. Perhaps a delicious warm bowl of soup would hit the spot. Possibly snowmobiles aren’t your jam. What’s essential here is not to let issues with your hearing aid diminish your quality of life, even when it’s winter.
If you follow the tips above and take good care of your hearing aids, this is particularly true. If you have any questions about how cold weather may effect the performance of your hearing aids, talk to us today!