Is the Performance of a Hearing Aid Affected by Cold Weather?

Senior friends wearing aids enjoying a day on the slopes

In contrast to popular opinion, winter is fun! Well, if you need to go somewhere, it can definitely be difficult. Or if you don’t have the correct gear (or proper infrastructure). But there are lots of fun things to do in those colder winter months.

Don’t believe us? Well, here are only a few instances of how cold weather can be fun: you could go skiing or sledding. You could go for a snowmobile ride. You could head out onto the ice for some ice skating or ice fishing. With the correct gear, winter can be just as much of an outdoor season as spring, summer, or fall (and the hot chocolate is so much more rewarding when you’ve been outdoors in the cold).

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

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

Hearing aids are meant to be used full-time. They’re constructed so you can wear them to the supermarket, out on a hike, or simply around the house. The manufacturers of these devices are well aware that they need to have a robust construction. But just because hearing aids are meant to be worn all of the time doesn’t mean you should do anything extreme with them.

As a result, most hearing aids are made to be somewhat “all-weather”. Most hearing aids can function quite nicely between the temperatures of -13 and 158 degrees Fahrenheit. There are some spots that will sometimes go below -13 but otherwise, that covers the broad range of temperatures.

You will be able to hear well in the majority of environments and that’s a great thing. Now, you may 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 may work, they might not work optimally.

Guidelines for hearing aids in the winter

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

  • Make use of accessories to keep your hearing aids secured to your ears: In order to ensure your hearing aids stay securely in place in your ears you can make use of one of many available straps or clips. If you’re doing any strenuous activities like snowboarding or sledding, this is especially relevant.
  • When you’re not wearing your hearing aids, keep them in a dry and warm place: Your hearing aid will work better and with fewer problems if you keep moisture out of it. Maybe you aren’t certain how to eliminate moisture from your hearing aid. In most cases, you can wipe it down and allow it to air dry in a warm spot.
  • Talk to us about how your hearing aids are fitting: At times, when they get really cold, hearing aids can be uncomfortable. Speak with us about the fit of your devices in order to give yourself the chance to decrease discomfort.
  • Check your batteries (and make sure they’re charged): Do hearing aid batteries freeze? Well, not really. But cold weather can drain your batteries faster than warm weather. So before you go out in the cold, be sure your battery is fully charged.
  • It helps to wear a hat or earmuffs: Not only will this keep your ears cozy, it’ll keep your hearing aids toasty, too! And the warmer your hearing aids are, the more ideally they’ll be working. Your next question may be: can I wear ear muffs over my hearing aid without affecting my hearing? Most hearing aids will still work just fine with earmuffs on.
  • Try not to get your hearing aids wet: When snow melts, it becomes water, so be mindful 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 usually waterproof. This means your hearing aid can most likely get a bit wet, but it’s not a great idea to leave it that way longer than necessary.

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

What should you do if your hearing aids quit working?

Occasionally, unfortunately, your hearing aid will quit 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 instance). But if those steps don’t help, we should be able to help you determine the cause of the problem and the best way to fix it.

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

There are lots of reasons why you may want to stay inside when it’s -10 degrees outside. Maybe you don’t like the cold. Perhaps a nice hot bowl of soup would hit the spot. 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.

That’s particularly true if you take care of your devices, and follow the tips outlined above. Give us a call if you have any concerns 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.