Does Cold Weather Affect Hearing Aid Operation?

Senior friends wearing aids enjoying a day on the slopes

Lots of people really love winter! Alright, it can certainly be a bummer if you need to go somewhere. Or if you don’t have the correct gear (or proper infrastructure). But during those cold winter months, you can find lots of enjoyable things to do.

Still not convinced? Sledding and skiing aren’t the only fun things you can do in the winter. You could have a good time on a snowmobile! You could head out onto the ice for some ice skating or ice fishing. You can enjoy being outdoors in the winter just as much as the summer, spring, or, fall if you have the correct gear.

But that’s an important caveat: you need the correct gear to stay comfortable. Perhaps you’re wondering if your hearing aid counts as part of that gear and whether it will be effected by the cold. Or can cold weather damage my hearing aids?

Up to a point, most hearing aids will be okay in any weather

Hearing aids are manufactured to be used on a daily basis. They’re constructed so you can wear them to the supermarket, out for a hike, or simply around the house. Which means that hearing aid manufacturers understand that these devices might take a pounding. But just because hearing aids are meant to be worn all of the time doesn’t mean you should do anything extreme with them.

The majority of hearing aids are manufactured 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. That covers the broad spectrum of temperature possibilities (even though there are some places, especially up north, that will sometimes get colder than -13 degrees).

Which is a good thing! It means you’ll be able to hear in most settings. Now, you may be thinking: if that’s true, why don’t my hearing aids work as well in the cold? Hearing aids will function in the cold, just perhaps not as well.

Guidelines 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.

  • Be certain you have freshly charged batteries: Hearing aid batteries don’t necessarily freeze but they will drain faster in the cold. This means you’ll want to make sure you have a full charge before heading out into any inclement weather.
  • 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 make use of one of many available straps or clips. This can be particularly significant if you’re involved in strenuous activity, such as skiing, skating, or sledding.
  • Getting your hearing aid wet isn’t a smart idea: When snow melts, it’s wet, so be cautious 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. Though most hearing aren’t waterproof, they are typically water resistant. 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.
  • Speak with us about how your hearing aids are fitting: Sometimes, when they get really cold, hearing aids can become uncomfortable. Speak with us about the fit of your devices in order to give yourself the opportunity to decrease discomfort.
  • It’s helpful to wear a hat or earmuffs: Wearing earmuffs or a hat will keep both your ears and your hearing aid cozy. And the warmer your hearing aids are, the more optimally they’ll be functioning. 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’re not using your hearing aids, store them in a dry and warm spot: This will help stop moisture from causing problems with your hearing aids. Maybe you’re not sure how to eliminate moisture from your hearing aid. In the majority of situations, you can dry it off and then leave it someplace warm and dry.

Perhaps 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 quit working?

Occasionally, unfortunately, your hearing aid will stop working even when the weather is warm and dry. There are a few basic troubleshooting steps you can take (be sure your device is dry and the batteries are charged, for instance). But if those steps aren’t helpful, we should be able to help you determine the cause of the problem and the best way to fix it.

Don’t let cold weather stop you from enjoying life!

There are plenty of reasons why you may want to stay inside when it’s -10 degrees outside. Perhaps you’re not a winter person. Maybe you’re going to make yourself some yummy hot soup. Maybe you’re not a big fan of snowmobiles. The essential thing is that it shouldn’t be your hearing aids that are preventing you from living your best winter life.

That’s especially true if you take care of your devices, and observe the guidelines 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.