Lots of people really enjoy winter! Okay, it can certainly be a bummer if you have to go somewhere. Or if you don’t have the correct gear (or proper infrastructure). But there are lots of fun things to do in those chillier winter months.
Still not convinced? Sledding and skiing aren’t the only enjoyable things you can do in the winter. You could have some fun on a snowmobile! Or you could get a pair of ice skates and spend a little 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 chocolate is so much more satisfying when you’ve been outside in the cold).
But that’s a major caveat: you need the proper gear to remain comfortable. You may be thinking: Does my hearing aid count as “the right gear”… and if so, will cold weather impact my hearing aids? Or will cold weather damage my hearing aids?
Most hearing aids are designed to be all-weather… to a point
Hearing aids are made to be used every day. They’re constructed so you can wear them to the grocery store, out on a hike, or just around the house. The makers of these devices are well aware that they need to have a robust construction. But just because hearing aids are designed to be worn all of the time doesn’t mean you should do anything extreme with them.
Most hearing aids are built 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 (though there are some places, especially up north, that will sometimes get colder than -13 degrees).
You will be capable of hearing well in the majority of settings and that’s a great thing. Now, you may be thinking: if that’s true, why don’t my hearing aids function as well in the cold? Well, drops in temperature will put strain on your devices, so while they might operate, they might not work at their best.
Some winter hearing aid guidelines
You can keep your hearing aids working at near peak efficiency if you take a few measures.
- Keep your hearing aids secured in your ear by making use of accessories.: There are all kinds 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.
- Letting your hearing aids get 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 going to ask, “Well, can I use hearing aids when it’s snowing or raining”? 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, keep them in a dry and warm place: Your hearing aid will function better and with fewer problems if you keep moisture out of it. Perhaps 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.
- Make sure you have freshly charged batteries: Hearing aid batteries don’t necessarily freeze but they will die faster in the cold. This means you’ll want to make certain you have a full charge before going out into any inclement weather.
- We can help ensure your hearing aid fits correctly: Hearing aids can sometimes be uncomfortable when they’re cold. Speak with us about the fit of your devices to give yourself the chance to minimize discomfort.
- It’s helpful to wear a hat or earmuffs: Wearing a hat or earmuffs will keep both your ears and your hearing aid warm. And the warmer your hearing aids are, the more ideally they’ll be functioning. 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 keep working.
So, if you’re wondering: how do I protect my hearing aids in the winter? Well, now you have some answers.
What should you do if your hearing aids quit working?
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 (for example, make sure the batteries are charged and that your devices are nice and dry). But if those steps aren’t helpful, we should be able to help you diagnose the cause of the problem and the best way to fix it.
You can still enjoy life even in the cold!
When it’s -10 degrees outside, it’s understandable that you would want to stay indoors. Perhaps you aren’t a winter person. Perhaps a nice warm bowl of soup would hit the spot. 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.
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 could impact the performance of your hearing aids, talk to us today!