Does Cold Weather Impact Hearing Aid Performance?

Senior friends wearing aids enjoying a day on the slopes

Contrary to popular belief, winter is fun! Alright, it can certainly be a bummer if you need to go anywhere. 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 it? Skiing and sledding aren’t the only enjoyable things you can do in the winter. You could go for a snowmobile ride. Or you could grab a pair of ice skates and spend a little time out on the ice. You can enjoy being outside in the winter just as much as the summer, spring, or, fall if you have the correct gear.

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

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

Hearing aids are designed to be worn on a daily basis. They’re built so you can wear them to the grocery store, out for a hike, or simply around the house. The manufacturers of these devices are well aware that they need to have a resilient 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.

The majority of hearing aids are designed to be basically “all weather” as a result. Most hearing aids can work quite well 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 capable of hearing in most settings. 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 stress on your devices, so while they may function, they may not work at their best.

Some winter hearing aid tips

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help ensure your hearing aids continue to work at maximum efficiency (or near enough) even in cold weather.

  • Monitor your batteries (and make sure they’re charged): Can hearing aid batteries freeze? Well, not really. But cold weather can drain your batteries faster than warm weather. This means you’ll want to make certain you have a full charge before going out into any severe weather.
  • When you’re not wearing your hearing aids, keep them in a dry and warm spot: This will help stop moisture from causing issues with your hearing aids. Perhaps you’re not certain how to eliminate moisture from your hearing aid. Usually, you can wipe it down and allow it to air dry in a warm spot.
  • Keep your hearing aids secured in your ear by using accessories.: There are all manner of straps and clips you can make use of to make sure your hearing aids stay in place. This can be particularly important if you’re involved in strenuous activity, including skiing, skating, or sledding.
  • It’s helpful to wear earmuffs or a hat: Not only will this keep your ears cozy, it’ll keep your hearing aids toasty, also! And the warmer your hearing aids are, the more optimally they’ll be working. Your next question may be: can I wear ear muffs on top of my hearing aid without affecting my hearing? Most hearing aids will continue to work just fine with earmuffs on.
  • Talk to us about how your hearing aids are fitting: Hearing aids can sometimes become uncomfortable when they’re cold. Talk to us about the fit of your devices to give yourself the opportunity to decrease discomfort.
  • Try not to let your hearing aid wet: When snow melts, it’s wet, 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 snowing or raining”? Yes, you can. Most hearing aids are water resistant but not necessarily waterproof. So while your hearing aid will probably be fine if it gets a little wet, you should dry it as soon as you can.

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.

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

Of course, even in the optimal weather conditions, your hearing aid might occasionally stop working. You can take a few basic steps to troubleshoot your device (be 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 diagnose the cause of the issue and the best way to fix it.

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

When it’s -10 degrees outside, it’s understandable that you would want to stay inside. Maybe you aren’t a winter person. Perhaps a nice hot bowl of soup would do the trick. Maybe snowmobiles aren’t your jam. What’s important here is not to let problems with your hearing aid diminish 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. Call us 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.