In contrast to popular opinion, winter is fun! Well, if you have to go somewhere, it can certainly be a challenge. Or if you aren’t properly prepared. But during those cold winter months, you can find plenty of fun things to do.
Still not convinced? Sledding and skiing aren’t the only fun things you can do in the winter. You could have some fun on a snowmobile! You could go out onto the ice for some ice skating or ice fishing. With the right gear, winter can be just as much of an outdoor season as spring, summer, or fall (and the hot chocolate is so much more rewarding when you’ve been outdoors in the cold).
But that’s a significant caveat: you need the proper gear to stay comfortable. You may be thinking: Does my hearing aid count as “the right gear”… and if so, will cold air affect my hearing aids? Will the cold damage my hearing aids?
Most hearing aids are made to be all-weather… to a point
Hearing aids are manufactured to be worn on a daily basis. They’re made to be worn pretty much everywhere you go. Which means that hearing aid makers are aware that these devices may take a pounding. But just because hearing aids are designed to be worn all of the time doesn’t mean you should do anything drastic with them.
Most hearing aids are designed to be basically “all weather” as a result. The safe temperature range for the majority of hearing aids is from -13 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. There are some places that will sometimes go below -13 but usually, that covers the broad range of temperatures.
You will be able to hear well in most environments and that’s a wonderful thing. So why don’t my hearing aids seem to work as well when it’s very cold? Hearing aids will function in the cold, just perhaps not as well.
Some winter hearing aid guidelines
You can keep your hearing aids functioning at near maximum efficiency if you take a few steps.
- Keep your hearing aids someplace warm and dry when you aren’t using them: This will help prevent moisture from causing problems with your hearing aids. Perhaps you’re not certain how to remove moisture from your hearing aid. In the majority of cases, you can dry it off and then put it someplace dry and warm.
- Keep your hearing aids secured in your ear by utilizing accessories.: There are all manner of straps and clips you can use to make sure your hearing aids stay in place. This can be particularly significant if you’re involved in strenuous activity, like skiing, skating, or sledding.
- Letting your hearing aids get wet isn’t a good idea: When snow melts, it’s wet, so be cautious about exposing your hearing aids to snow. If you’re wondering whether you can wear your hearing aids in the snow and rain, the answer is yes. Most hearing aids are water resistant but not necessarily waterproof. So while your hearing aid will probably be okay if it gets a little wet, you should dry it as soon as you can.
- We can help make sure your hearing aid fits correctly: Sometimes, when they get really cold, hearing aids can be uncomfortable. Speak with us about the fit of your devices to give yourself the opportunity to minimize discomfort.
- Try donning a hat or earmuffs: Wearing a hat or earmuffs will keep both your ears and your hearing aid toasty. And your hearing aids will operate at their optimal level if they’re warm. Maybe you’re wondering whether your hearing aids will still function if you have earmuffs over them. Well, it depends on the hearing aid, but in most cases, your hearing aids will still continue to work.
- Monitor your batteries (and make sure they’re charged): Do hearing aid batteries freeze? Well, not really. But cold weather can drain your batteries faster than warm weather. So before you go out in the cold, make sure your battery is fully charged.
Perhaps you’re wondering how to protect your hearing aids when it gets cold. Well, now you have some answers.
What should you do if your hearing aids quit working?
Occasionally, unfortunately, your hearing aid will stop working even when the weather is warm and dry. You can take a few basic measures to troubleshoot your device (be 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 diagnose the cause of the issue and the best way to fix it.
Don’t let cold weather stop you from enjoying life!
When it’s -10 degrees outside, it’s understandable that you would want to stay inside. Perhaps you aren’t a winter person. Possibly you’re going to make yourself some nice warm soup. Perhaps you aren’t a big fan of snowmobiles. What’s important here is not to let issues with your hearing aid impact your quality of life, even when it’s winter.
That’s especially true if you take care of your devices, and follow the guidelines outlined above. Call us if you have any questions about how your hearing aids might be effected by the cold.