Does Cold Weather Affect Hearing Aid Performance?

Senior friends wearing aids enjoying a day on the slopes

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

Don’t believe us? Well, here are just a few examples of how cold weather can be fun: you could go sledding or skiing. You could go for a snowmobile ride. You could head 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, fall if you have the right gear.

But the secret here is using 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? Will the cold damage my hearing aids?

Up to a point, most hearing aids will be okay in any weather

Hearing aids are designed to be used full-time. They’re meant to be worn pretty much everywhere you go. The manufacturers of these devices understand 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 drastic with them.

As a result, most hearing aids are designed to be somewhat “all-weather”. Most hearing aids can work quite nicely between the temperatures of -13 and 158 degrees Fahrenheit. That covers the broad spectrum of temperature possibilities (although there are some places, especially 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 environments. So why don’t my hearing aids seem to work as well when it’s very cold? Well, drops in temperature will put strain on your devices, so while they may operate, they might not work at their best.

Tips for hearing aids in the winter

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

  • When you’re not wearing your hearing aids, store them in a dry and warm spot: Your hearing aid will function better and with fewer problems if you keep moisture out of it. Maybe you’re not sure how to eliminate moisture from your hearing aid. In most situations, you can dry it off and then leave it someplace warm and dry.
  • It helps to wear a hat or earmuffs: Not only will this keep your ears warm, it’ll keep your hearing aids warm, too! And your hearing aids will operate at their optimal level if they are warm. Your next question might be: can I wear ear muffs over my hearing aid without impacting my hearing? Well, it depends on the hearing aid, but in most cases, your hearing aids will still continue to work.
  • Be certain you have freshly charged batteries: Hearing aid batteries don’t generally freeze but they will die faster in the cold. So before you go out in the cold, make sure your battery is fully charged.
  • Use accessories to keep your hearing aids secured to your ears: In order to make sure your hearing aids remain securely in place in your ears you can utilize one of many available clips or straps. This can be especially important if you’re involved in strenuous activity, like skiing, skating, or sledding.
  • Speak with us about how your hearing aids are fitting: Sometimes, when they get really cold, hearing aids can be uncomfortable. Reduce any possible discomfort by getting help from us with the fit of your device.
  • Try not to get your hearing aids wet: When snow melts, it becomes water, so be cautious about exposing your hearing aids to snow. If you’re going to ask, “Well, can I use 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 probably be okay if it gets a bit wet, you should dry it as soon as you can.

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 stop working?

Of course, even in the best weather conditions, your hearing aid might occasionally stop working. There are a few practical troubleshooting measures you can take (for instance, make sure the batteries are charged and that your devices are nice and dry). If you still can’t figure out why they’re not 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 understandable that you would want to stay indoors. Perhaps you don’t enjoy the cold. Maybe you’re going to cook yourself some yummy warm soup. Perhaps you aren’t 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 observe the tips above and take good care of your hearing aids, this is especially true. Contact us 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.