Caring for Hearing Aids in the Cold
by Lindsay Robinson, HIA Program Coordinator
January 12, 2022
As I stare out at the remaining piles of snow remaining in my yard, I start an internal checklist of the many things I need to remember to stay comfortable and warm while running errands today. Do I have enough layers on? Is this jacket sufficient for today’s forecast? Where are my warmest socks and gloves? Will these boots be waterproof for the snow and ice I may have to navigate through?
As you make your list to head out the door, make sure to think of your assistive technology, such as hearing aids, and how to protect them from the elements. Hearing aids are tiny computers with delicate circuits that can be vulnerable when exposed to extreme heat and cold. It’s important to take the following precautions when bringing them along on a winter stroll outside:
- Keep Your Ears Warm: If your ears are cold, then so are your hearing aids. Cold temperatures can cause moisture to build up in your hearing aids which may be damaging. Keep a beanie, breathable but secure earmuffs or sweatband, or a scarf wrapped around your head and ears to keep them from getting too cold.
- Keep Spare Batteries or Your Charger With You: Whether your hearing aids take batteries or are rechargeable, be sure to keep a power source with you. Winter temps can drain batteries quicker than normal.
- Use Caution When Adjusting or Removing Hats or Winter Wear: Adjusting articles of clothing near your ears can cause your hearing aid to be pulled, flung, or lost. Be careful not to damage or lose your hearing aids when trying to bundle up or losing some layers!
- Give Them a Break: If possible when coming back indoors, remove your hearing aids and let them warm up and dry out. If they take batteries, open the battery door to allow moisture to escape. If they are rechargeable, you can wipe them with a dry cloth. Hearing aid dehumidifiers can also be purchased from hearing care professionals and online to ensure damaging moisture is sufficiently removed.
- Keep Up With Your Daily Clean: To prolong the life of hearing aids, it’s important to clean your hearing aids on a daily basis. Your hearing aid manual and hearing care professional can help guide you through easy methods of keeping your hearing aids clean.
If you notice sound distortion, reverberations, or no sound coming from your hearing aid at all, contact your hearing care professional to have them diagnosis the issue. Winter can be a time to have fun and explore as long as we take proper precautions both for ourselves and our helpful technology!