Hearing Aids and Winter Weather
The holidays are approaching, there’s a nip in the air and snow probably isn’t far behind. It’s wintertime! If you live in a cold-weather area, you’re familiar with winterizing your car, getting out the warm coats and sweaters, and thinking about shoveling snow. You’re prepared for those things, but what about your hearing aids and winter weather? Just a few simple safeguards will keep your hearing aids working well in cold temperatures.
Why is chilly weather a problem?
It’s not the brisk temperatures alone that can create issues for hearing aid wearers – it’s the change in temperature when you go into a warm building from the cold outside. If you wear eyeglasses, you know they tend to fog up in those conditions. That’s condensation, and it also occurs in your hearing aids.
Moisture is the number one enemy of hearing aids. It’s vital to keep your hearing aids dry, so in the winter, a hat, scarf or earmuffs are a must. Take extra precautions when you’re going out in the snow, sleet or rain.
How can you fight moisture?
There are several ways to combat moisture build-up in your hearing aids. You can wick away moisture with a hat made of a breathable material that absorbs any perspiration. If you wear behind-the-ear hearing aids, consider investing in hearing aid sweatbands. These not only absorb dampness, but also protect against dirt and dust.
If your activities keep you outside for a while, you will want to check your hearing aids once you’re inside. Remove your units and check for any condensation. Wipe them down and open the battery compartment. If there is any wetness dab a cotton swab around to absorb it. If you engage in winter sports or exercise outside, you may consider investing in a hearing aid dehumidifier, which removes moisture and extends the life of your hearing aids.
Watch for any signs of moisture problems. These include a weak or intermittent sound, crackling, static or no sound at all. If a quick cleaning and new batteries can’t fix the issue, see your audiologist.
Are your batteries affected?
The cold temperatures can have an impact on your batteries. Cold batteries have a shorter lifespan and may have to be replaced more often in the winter. Keep your spare batteries in a warm, dry place. Avoid storing them in your car’s glovebox or in a chilly purse or knapsack. Your spare batteries will work better if stored in an inner coat pocket when you’re out in the cold.
Just a few simple preparations can provide peace of mind when it comes to your hearing aids and winter weather. Temperature changes may create some moisture, but knowing how to deal with it to avoid potential damage means less worry and more time for holiday fun.