Does Cold Weather Impact Hearing Aid Performance?

Senior friends wearing aids enjoying a day on the slopes

Lots of people really enjoy winter! Okay, it can certainly be a bummer if you have to get somewhere. Or if you’re not properly prepared. But during those chilly winter months, you can find plenty of enjoyable things to do.

Still not convinced? Skiing and sledding aren’t the only enjoyable things you can do in the winter. You could go for a snowmobile ride. Or you could grab a pair of ice skates and spend a little 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 rewarding when you’ve been outside in the cold).

But the secret here is having the right gear. Maybe you’re wondering if your hearing aid counts as part of that gear and whether it will be impacted by the cold. Will the cold damage my hearing aids?

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

Hearing aids are designed to be used full-time. They’re built so you can wear them to the grocery store, out for a hike, or just around the house. Which means that hearing aid manufacturers understand that these devices may take a beating. But just because hearing aids are designed to be worn all of the time doesn’t mean you should do anything drastic with them.

As a result, most hearing aids are made 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 places that will sometimes go below -13 but otherwise, that covers the broad spectrum of temperatures.

You will be capable of hearing well in the majority of environments and that’s a wonderful thing. 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 stress on your devices, so while they may work, they may not operate at their best.

Some winter hearing aid guidelines

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help ensure your hearing aids continue to work at peak efficiency (or close enough) even in cold weather.

  • Try not to let your hearing aid wet: When snow melts, it’s wet, so be careful about exposing your hearing aids to snow. 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. So while your hearing aid will most likely be okay if it gets a little wet, you should dry it as soon as you can.
  • 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, make sure your battery is completely charged.
  • We can help ensure your hearing aid fits properly: 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.
  • It’s helpful to wear earmuffs or a hat: Not only will this keep your ears warm, it’ll keep your hearing aids warm, as well! And the warmer your hearing aids are, the more ideally they’ll be functioning. Your next question may be: can I wear ear muffs over my hearing aid without affecting my hearing? Well, it depends on the hearing aid, but in most cases, your hearing aids will still continue to work.
  • When you aren’t wearing your hearing aids, keep them in a dry and warm spot: This will help stop moisture from causing problems with your hearing aids. You’re most likely asking: “How do I eliminate moisture from my hearing aids”? In most cases, you can wipe it down and let it air dry in a warm spot.
  • Use accessories to keep your hearing aids secured to your ears: There are all kinds of straps and clips you can make use of to make sure your hearing aids stay in place. This can be particularly significant if you’re involved in strenuous activity, including skiing, skating, or sledding.

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

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

Occasionally, unfortunately, your hearing aid will quit working even when the weather is warm and dry. There are a few basic troubleshooting steps you can take (for example, ensure the batteries are charged and that your devices are good and dry). If you still can’t determine why they aren’t working, we should be able to help you with that.

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

When it’s -10 degrees outside, it’s reasonable that you would want to stay inside. Maybe you don’t like the cold. Maybe a delicious hot bowl of soup would do the trick. Maybe you’re not a big fan of snowmobiles. The essential thing is that it shouldn’t be your hearing aids that are stopping you from living your greatest winter life.

That’s particularly true if you take care of your devices, and observe the tips outlined above. Give us a call if you have any questions about how your hearing aids might be impacted 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.