Does Cold Weather Impact Hearing Aid Operation?

Senior friends wearing aids enjoying a day on the slopes

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

Don’t believe it? 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 get a pair of ice skates and spend some time out on the ice. With the right gear, winter can be just as much of an outdoor season as spring, summer, or autumn (and the hot chocolate is so much more satisfying when you’ve been outdoors in the cold).

But the key here is having the right gear. You may be thinking: Does my hearing aid count as “the right gear”… and if so, will cold air affect my hearing aids? Or will cold weather damage my hearing aids?

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

Hearing aids are made to be used full-time. They’re built so you can wear them to the supermarket, out for a hike, or simply around the house. The makers of these devices are well aware that they need to have a resilient construction. We don’t recommend you do anything drastic with your hearing aids, just remember that they’re manufactured to accompany you throughout your normal daily tasks.

Consequently, most hearing aids are made to be somewhat “all-weather”. The safe temperature range for most hearing aids is from -13 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. There are some places that will sometimes get colder than -13 but usually, that covers the broad spectrum of temperatures.

You will be able to hear well in the majority of environments and that’s a wonderful thing. So why don’t my hearing aids seem to work as well when it’s really cold? Well, drops in temperature will put strain on your devices, so while they may work, they might not operate optimally.

Some winter hearing aid advice

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

  • Try not to let your hearing aid wet: Be careful not to get snow on your hearing aid because when snow melts, things get wet. If you’re going to ask, “Well, can I wear hearing aids when it’s raining or snowing”? Yes, you can. 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 possible.
  • When you’re not using your hearing aids, store them in a dry and warm place: This will help stop moisture from causing issues with your hearing aids. You’re most likely asking: “How do I remove moisture from my hearing aids”? In most cases, you can dry it off and then leave it somewhere dry and warm.
  • Check your batteries (and make sure they’re charged): Hearing aid batteries don’t generally freeze but they will die quicker in the cold. This means you’ll want to make sure you have a full charge before heading out into any severe weather.
  • Try to dawn a hat or earmuffs: Wearing a hat or earmuffs will keep both your ears and your hearing aid toasty. And the warmer your hearing aids are, the more optimally they’ll be working. 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.
  • Make use of accessories to keep your hearing aids strapped 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 especially relevant if you’re involved in strenuous activity, such as skiing, skating, or sledding.
  • Speak with us about how your hearing aids are fitting: Hearing aids can sometimes be uncomfortable when they’re cold. Talk to us about the fit of your devices in order to give yourself the chance to decrease discomfort.

Maybe you’re wondering how to protect your hearing aids when it gets cold. Well, now you’ve got some answers.

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

Sometimes, unfortunately, your hearing aid will quit working even when the weather is warm and dry. There are a few practical troubleshooting steps you can take (make sure your device is dry and the batteries are charged, for example). 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. Maybe a delicious hot bowl of soup would do the trick. Maybe you aren’t a big fan of snowmobiles. What’s essential here is not to let issues with your hearing aid impact your quality of life, even during the winter.

If you follow the tips above and take good care of your hearing aids, this is particularly true. 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.