Does Cold Weather Affect Hearing Aid Performance?

Senior friends wearing aids enjoying a day on the slopes

In contrast to popular opinion, winter is fun! Alright, it can certainly be a bummer if you have to get 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.

Don’t believe us? 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. You can enjoy being outside in the winter just as much as the summer, spring, or, autumn if you have the proper gear.

But the key here is having the appropriate gear. You may be thinking: Does my hearing aid count as “the right gear”… and if so, will cold air affect my hearing aids? Can the cold 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 designed to be worn pretty much everywhere you go. Which means that hearing aid makers are aware that these devices may take a beating. We don’t recommend you do anything drastic with your hearing aids, just remember that they’re designed to go along with you throughout your normal daily activities.

Consequently, most hearing aids are designed 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 spots that will sometimes get colder than -13 but usually, that covers the broad range of temperatures.

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

Some winter hearing aid tips

You can keep your hearing aids working at near peak efficiency if you take a few steps.

  • Try to dawn a hat or earmuffs: Not only will this keep your ears warm, it’ll keep your hearing aids warm, too! And the warmer your hearing aids are, the more optimally they’ll be working. Your next question may be: can I wear ear muffs over my hearing aid without impacting my hearing? Most hearing aids will continue to work just fine with earmuffs on.
  • Speak with us about the fit of your hearing aids: At times, when they get really cold, hearing aids can become uncomfortable. Talk to us about the fit of your devices to give yourself the opportunity to decrease discomfort.
  • Getting your hearing aid wet isn’t a good idea: When snow melts, it becomes water, so be careful about exposing your hearing aids to snow. If you’re wondering whether you can wear your hearing aids in the rain or snow, the answer is yes. Even though most hearing aren’t waterproof, they are typically water resistant. So while your hearing aid will most likely be okay if it gets a bit wet, you should dry it as soon as you can.
  • Utilize accessories to keep your hearing aids strapped to your ears: 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 participating in any strenuous activities like snowboarding or sledding, this is especially relevant.
  • Make sure you have freshly charged batteries: 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, be sure your battery is completely charged.
  • Keep your hearing aids someplace warm and dry when you aren’t using them: Your hearing aid will function better and with fewer problems if you keep moisture out of it. Maybe you aren’t sure how to remove moisture from your hearing aid. Usually, you can wipe it down and allow it to air dry in a warm spot.

So, if you’re wondering: how can I safeguard my hearing aids in the winter? That’s precisely what we’re going to find out.

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

Occasionally, unfortunately, your hearing aid will stop working even when the weather is warm and dry. There are a few standard troubleshooting measures you can take (for instance, 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 diagnose 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 may want to stay indoors when it’s -10 degrees outside. Perhaps you aren’t a winter person. Perhaps a nice hot bowl of soup would hit the spot. Possibly snowmobiles aren’t your jam. 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. 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.