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

Senior friends wearing aids enjoying a day on the slopes

Lots of people really love winter! Okay, it can certainly be a bummer if you need to get anywhere. Or if you aren’t properly prepared. But there are lots of fun things to do in those colder winter months.

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 have a good time on a snowmobile! You could go out onto the ice for some ice skating or ice fishing. With the right gear, winter can be just as much of an outdoor season as spring, summer, or fall (and the hot chocolate is so much more satisfying when you’ve been outside in the cold).

But that’s an important caveat: you need the right gear to remain 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?

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

Hearing aids are made to be worn every day. They’re constructed so you can wear them to the grocery store, out for a hike, or simply around the house. The manufacturers of these devices understand that they need to have a robust construction. We don’t recommend you do anything extreme with your hearing aids, just remember that they’re designed to go along with you throughout your normal daily tasks.

Most hearing aids are built to be basically “all weather” as a result. The safe temperature range for most hearing aids is from -13 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. That covers the broad range of temperature possibilities (even though there are some places, especially up north, that will sometimes get colder than -13 degrees).

You will be able to hear well in most settings 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 stress on your devices, so while they may function, they might not operate optimally.

Some winter hearing aid guidelines

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

  • Keep your hearing aids secured in your ear by using accessories.: In order to be sure your hearing aids remain securely in place in your ears you can make use of one of many available straps or clips. This can be particularly significant if you’re engaged in strenuous activity, like skiing, skating, or sledding.
  • When you’re not using your hearing aids, keep them in a dry and warm spot: This will help stop moisture from causing issues with your hearing aids. Maybe you aren’t certain how to remove moisture from your hearing aid. In most cases, you can wipe it down and allow it to air dry in a warm spot.
  • 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 to give yourself the chance to decrease discomfort.
  • Try donning a hat or earmuffs: 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 impacting my hearing? Well, it depends on the hearing aid, but in most cases, your hearing aids will still continue to work.
  • Try not to let your hearing aid wet: Be cautious not to get snow on your hearing aid because when snow melts, things get wet. If you’re going to ask, “Well, can I use hearing aids when it’s snowing or raining”? Yes, you can. Though most hearing aren’t waterproof, they are typically water resistant. This means your hearing aid can most likely get a little wet, but it’s not a very good idea to leave it that way longer than necessary.
  • Check your batteries (and make sure they’re charged): Hearing aid batteries don’t necessarily freeze but they will die faster in the cold. So before you go out in the cold, be sure your battery is completely charged.

So, if you’re wondering: how can 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?

Of course, even in the best possible weather conditions, your hearing aid might occasionally stop working. There are a few basic troubleshooting steps you can take (be sure your device is dry and the batteries are charged, for instance). If you still aren’t able to determine why they aren’t working, we should be able to help you with that.

You can still enjoy life even when it’s cold!

There are plenty of reasons why you may want to stay indoors when it’s -10 degrees outside. Maybe you don’t like the cold. Possibly you’re going to cook yourself some yummy hot soup. Perhaps you’re not a big fan of snowmobiles. The essential thing is that it shouldn’t be your hearing aids that are preventing you from living your best winter life.

That’s particularly true if you take care of your devices, and follow the tips outlined above. Call us if you have any questions about how your hearing aids may 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.