Does Cold Weather Impact Hearing Aid Performance?

Senior friends wearing aids enjoying a day on the slopes

Contrary to popular belief, winter is fun! Well, if you have to go somewhere, it can certainly be difficult. Or if you aren’t properly prepared. But during those chilly winter months, you can find plenty of enjoyable things to do.

Still not convinced? Skiing and sledding aren’t the only enjoyable things you can do in the winter. You could have some fun on a snowmobile! Or you could grab a pair of ice skates and spend a little 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 cocoa is so much more satisfying when you’ve been outside in the cold).

But that’s a major caveat: you need the correct gear to remain comfortable. You may be thinking: Does my hearing aid count as “the right gear”… and if so, will cold weather affect my hearing aids? Can the cold damage my hearing aids?

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

Hearing aids are meant to be used full-time. They’re built so you can wear them to the grocery store, out on a hike, or simply around the house. Which means that hearing aid makers are aware that these devices may take a beating. 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 designed to be somewhat “all-weather”. Most hearing aids can work 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 capable of hearing well in most environments and that’s a wonderful thing. So why don’t my hearing aids seem to work as well when it’s really cold? Hearing aids will work in the cold, just perhaps not as well.

Some winter hearing aid advice

You can keep your hearing aids working at close to peak efficiency if you take a few measures.

  • When you aren’t wearing your hearing aids, keep them in a dry and warm spot: Your hearing aid will function better and with fewer problems if you keep moisture out of it. You’re most likely asking: “How do I remove moisture from my hearing aids”? In the majority of situations, you can dry it off and then put it someplace warm and dry.
  • 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 going to ask, “Well, can I wear 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 fine if it gets a bit wet, you should dry it as soon as you can.
  • Speak with us about the fit of your hearing aids: Hearing aids can sometimes be uncomfortable when they’re cold. Speak with us about the fit of your devices in order to give yourself the opportunity to lessen discomfort.
  • Try to dawn a hat or earmuffs: Wearing a hat or earmuffs will keep both your ears and your hearing aid warm. And your hearing aids will operate at their maximum level if they are warm. Perhaps you’re wondering whether your hearing aids will still work if you have earmuffs over them. Most hearing aids will still work just fine with earmuffs on.
  • Be certain you have freshly charged batteries: Can 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, make sure your battery is fully charged.
  • Utilize accessories to keep your hearing aids strapped to your ears: In order to be sure your hearing aids remain securely in place in your ears you can utilize one of many available clips or straps. If you’re doing any strenuous activities like snowboarding or sledding, this is specifically relevant.

Maybe you’re wondering how to safeguard your hearing aids when it gets cold. That’s exactly what we’re going to explore.

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 standard troubleshooting steps you can take (for instance, ensure the batteries are charged and that your devices are nice and dry). If you still aren’t able to determine 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 inside. Maybe you don’t enjoy the cold. Perhaps a nice hot bowl of soup would do the trick. Maybe you aren’t a big fan of snowmobiles. What’s important here is not to let problems with your hearing aid impact your quality of life, even when it’s winter.

If you observe the guidelines above and take good care of your hearing aids, this is particularly true. Contact us if you have any questions about how your hearing aids might be impacted 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.