Does Cold Weather Impact Hearing Aid Operation?

Senior friends wearing aids enjoying a day on the slopes

Lots of individuals really enjoy winter! Alright, it can certainly be a bummer if you have to get anywhere. 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? Well, here are only a few instances of how cold weather can be fun: you could go sledding or skiing. You could have a good time on a snowmobile! You could go out onto the ice for some ice skating or ice fishing. You can enjoy being outdoors in the winter just as much as the summer, spring, or, autumn if you have the correct gear.

But that’s a significant caveat: you need the proper gear to remain comfortable. You might 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?

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

Hearing aids are designed to be worn every day. They’re constructed so you can wear them to the supermarket, out for a hike, or just around the house. 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 extreme with them.

As a result, most hearing aids are manufactured to be somewhat “all-weather”. Most hearing aids can operate quite nicely between the temperatures of -13 and 158 degrees Fahrenheit. That covers the broad spectrum of temperature possibilities (although there are some places, particularly 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. Now, you may be thinking: if that’s true, why don’t my hearing aids function as well in the winter? Well, drops in temperature will put strain on your devices, so while they might work, they might not work at their best.

Guidelines for hearing aids in the winter

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

  • It’s helpful to wear a hat or earmuffs: Wearing earmuffs or a hat will keep both your ears and your hearing aid warm. And your hearing aids will operate at their maximum level if they are warm. Your next question might 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.
  • We can help make sure your hearing aid fits properly: Hearing aids can sometimes be uncomfortable when they’re cold. Minimize any possible discomfort by getting help from us with the fit of your device.
  • Keep your hearing aids somewhere warm and dry when you aren’t using them: Your hearing aid will work better and with fewer issues if you keep moisture out of it. Perhaps you aren’t certain how to remove moisture from your hearing aid. In most situations, you can dry it off and then leave it someplace dry and warm.
  • Make use of accessories to keep your hearing aids strapped to your ears: There are all manner of straps and clips you can use to make sure your hearing aids stay in place. This can be particularly important if you’re involved in strenuous activity, like skiing, skating, or sledding.
  • Getting your hearing aid wet isn’t a good idea: 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 usually waterproof. So while your hearing aid will probably be okay if it gets a little wet, you should dry it as soon as you can.
  • Check your batteries (and make sure they’re charged): Hearing aid batteries don’t necessarily freeze but they will die quicker in the cold. So before you go out in the cold, make sure your battery is completely charged.

So, if you’re wondering: how do I protect my hearing aids in the winter? Well, now you’ve got some answers.

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

Sometimes, unfortunately, your hearing aid will stop working even when the weather is warm and dry. There are a few practical troubleshooting steps you can take (for example, ensure the batteries are charged and that your devices are nice and dry). If you still aren’t able to figure out why they’re not working, we should be able to assist you with that.

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

There are plenty of reasons why you may want to stay inside when it’s -10 degrees outside. Maybe you don’t enjoy the cold. Maybe you’re going to cook yourself some nice warm soup. Maybe snowmobiles aren’t your jam. The essential thing is that it shouldn’t be your hearing aids that are stopping you from living your best winter life.

If you follow the guidelines above and take good care of your hearing aids, this is especially true. If you have any questions about how cold weather might effect the performance of your hearing aids, call 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.