Does Cold Weather Affect Hearing Aid Operation?

Senior friends wearing aids enjoying a day on the slopes

In contrast to popular belief, winter is fun! Alright, it can certainly be a bummer if you have to get somewhere. Or if you don’t have the correct gear (or proper infrastructure). But during those cold winter months, you can find lots of enjoyable things to do.

Don’t believe us? Well, here are just a few examples of how cold weather can be fun: you could go skiing or sledding. You could have a good time on a snowmobile! Or you could get a pair of ice skates and spend some time out on the ice. You can enjoy being outdoors in the winter just as much as the summer, spring, or, autumn if you have the proper gear.

But the secret here is having the right gear. Maybe you’re wondering if your hearing aid counts as part of that gear and whether it will be impacted by the cold. Will the cold damage my hearing aids?

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

Hearing aids are made to be worn every day. They’re made to be worn pretty much everywhere you go. The manufacturers of these devices understand that they need to have a resilient construction. We don’t suggest you do anything drastic with your hearing aids, just remember that they’re manufactured to accompany you throughout your normal daily tasks.

As a result, most hearing aids are manufactured to be somewhat “all-weather”. The safe temperature range for the majority of hearing aids is from -13 to 158 degrees Fahrenheit. That covers the broad range of temperature possibilities (even though 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. So why don’t my hearing aids seem to work as well when it’s really cold? Well, drops in temperature will put strain on your devices, so while they may function, they may not work optimally.

Some winter hearing aid advice

You can keep your hearing aids functioning at near peak efficiency if you take a few steps.

  • Make sure you have freshly charged batteries: Hearing aid batteries don’t necessarily freeze but they will die quicker in the cold. This means you’ll want to be certain you have a full charge before going out into any inclement weather.
  • Try wearing a hat or earmuffs: Not only will this keep your ears cozy, it’ll keep your hearing aids toasty, as well! And your hearing aids will work at their optimal level if they are warm. 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 keep working.
  • When you’re not using your hearing aids, keep them in a dry and warm spot: Your hearing aid will work better and with fewer issues if you keep moisture out of it. You’re most likely asking: “How do I eliminate moisture from my hearing aids”? In most cases, you can wipe it down and allow it to air dry in a warm spot.
  • Utilize 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.
  • Speak with us about how your hearing aids are fitting: Sometimes, when they get really cold, hearing aids can become uncomfortable. Speak with us about the fit of your devices to give yourself the opportunity to lessen discomfort.
  • Getting your hearing aid wet isn’t a good idea: When snow melts, it becomes water, so be careful 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. This means your hearing aid can probably get a bit wet, but it’s not a great idea to leave it that way longer than you have to.

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

What should you do if your hearing aids quit working?

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

You can still enjoy life even in the cold!

When it’s -10 degrees outside, it’s reasonable that you would want to stay inside. Maybe you aren’t a winter person. Maybe a delicious hot bowl of soup would hit the spot. Possibly snowmobiles aren’t your jam. The essential thing is that it shouldn’t be your hearing aids that are preventing you from living your greatest winter life.

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