Plainsboro and Monroe, NJ

Plainsboro and Monroe, NJ

Does Cold Weather Affect Hearing Aid Performance?

Princeton Otolaryngology Associates: Dr. Scott L. Kay | Hearing Aid News

Senior friends wearing aids enjoying a day on the slopes

In contrast to popular belief, winter is fun! Well, if you have to go somewhere, it can certainly be a challenge. Or if you aren’t properly prepared. But there are lots of fun things to do in those colder winter months.

Don’t believe us? Sledding and skiing aren’t the only enjoyable things you can do in the winter. You could go for a snowmobile ride. Or you could get a pair of ice skates and spend some time out on the ice. With the proper gear, winter can be just as much of an outdoor season as spring, summer, or fall (and the hot cocoa is so much more rewarding when you’ve been outside in the cold).

But that’s a significant caveat: you need the proper gear to remain comfortable. Perhaps you’re wondering if your hearing aid counts as part of that gear and whether it will be impacted by the cold. Or will cold weather damage my hearing aids?

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

Hearing aids are designed to be used every day. They’re meant to be worn pretty much everywhere you go. The makers of these devices are well aware that they need to have a robust construction. We don’t suggest you do anything extreme with your hearing aids, just keep in mind that they’re designed to go along with you throughout your normal daily tasks.

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. That covers the broad spectrum of temperature possibilities (though there are some places, particularly up north, that will occasionally get colder than -13 degrees).

Which is a good thing! It means you’ll be able to hear in most settings. 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 might operate, they may not operate optimally.

Tips for hearing aids in the winter

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

  • We can help make sure your hearing aid fits correctly: At times, when they get really cold, hearing aids can be uncomfortable. Decrease any possible discomfort by getting help from us with the fit of your device.
  • Try to dawn a hat or earmuffs: Wearing earmuffs or a hat will keep both your ears and your hearing aid warm. And your hearing aids will function at their best level if they are warm. Perhaps you’re wondering whether your hearing aids will still function if you have earmuffs over them. Most hearing aids will continue to work just fine with earmuffs on.
  • Try not to get your hearing aids wet: When snow melts, it’s wet, so be mindful about exposing your hearing aids to snow. If you’re going to ask, “Well, can I wear hearing aids when it’s raining or snowing”? Yes, you can. Though most hearing aren’t waterproof, they are normally water resistant. This means your hearing aid can probably get a little wet, but it’s not a very good idea to leave it that way longer than necessary.
  • Check your batteries (and make sure they’re charged): Hearing aid batteries don’t necessarily freeze but they will drain faster in the cold. So before you go out in the cold, make sure your battery is fully charged.
  • When you’re not using your hearing aids, store them in a dry and warm spot: Your hearing aid will function better and with fewer issues if you keep moisture out of it. Perhaps you’re not sure how to eliminate moisture from your hearing aid. In most cases, you can wipe it down and let it air dry in a warm spot.
  • 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 relevant if you’re engaged in strenuous activity, including skiing, skating, or sledding.

Maybe you’re wondering how to safeguard your hearing aids when it gets cold. That’s precisely what we’re going to find out.

What should you do if your hearing aids quit working?

Sometimes, unfortunately, your hearing aid will stop working even when the weather is warm and dry. You can take a few basic steps to troubleshoot your device (make sure your device is dry and the batteries are charged, for example). If you still aren’t able to figure out why they aren’t working, we should be able to help you with that.

You can still enjoy life even in the cold!

There are plenty of reasons why you might 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 warm soup. Perhaps you’re not a big fan of snowmobiles. What’s important here is not to let problems 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 observe the guidelines outlined above. Give us a call if you have any questions about how your hearing aids may be effected by the cold.

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.

Questions? Talk To Us.