If you’re like many people in Exton, you take extra steps to winterize your car and home this time of year. It’s good to be vigilant and prepare for the coldest months of the year, but if you have hearing loss, don’t neglect to protect your hearing aids from the ravages of winter, as well.
How Cold Weather Affects Hearing Aids
We might not have the same extreme cold as a place like Fairbanks, but people with hearing loss in Exton should still take steps to protect their hearing aids during the winter months. Doing so will help keep them performing optimally throughout the holiday season, when you are likely to be enjoying more social activities with friends and loved ones than you would at other times of the year.
Hearing aids are susceptible to cold and moisture just like we are. You wouldn’t dream of going outside on a cold winter’s day without adequate clothing, and your hearing aids should receive the same TLC. While they are sturdy and sophisticated instruments built to withstand extremes in temperature, they fare less well when moisture is part of the equation.
The human body generates heat to protect against cold weather. When you come back inside after being out in the cold, the sudden temperature change will cause condensation to form. This moisture can damage the internal circuitry of your hearing aids, resulting in an expensive repair bill. With all the holiday shopping you’re probably doing, we’re guessing you don’t want an added expense.
To keep your hearing aids performing efficiently during the winter months, be sure to do the following:
- Protect hearing aids from the cold. Cold temperatures probably won’t harm your hearing aids, but they can negatively affect battery performance. Don’t leave hearing aids in a cold car or near a drafty window. When wearing them outdoors, be sure to cover them with a hat, scarf, earmuffs or a ski cap to prevent exposure to the elements. If you’re skiing, snowboarding or participating in any vigorous winter sport, we recommend removing your hearing aids and keeping them in a safe, warm place.
- Keep away from moisture. Regardless of the cold, if you are engaged in vigorous exercise outdoors during the winter months, you will sweat. Be sure to wick away perspiration to prevent damage to your hearing aids. Wear clothing and accessories that are breathable and absorb moisture and if you wear a behind-the-ear style hearing aid, invest in a hearing aid sweatband (yes, that’s a real thing). When coming back inside, remove your hearing aids to let them breathe for a bit. Wipe off any condensation with a soft, dry cloth. When you take out your hearing aids at night, open the battery compartment door to help with ventilation and store them in a dehumidifier to prevent moisture buildup.
- Additional advice. There are a few more steps you can take to keep your hearing aids protected during the winter months. Never dry them out by placing them near a heat source such as a radiator – extreme heat is no better than cold for your hearing aids. Keep a supply of extra batteries on hand during the coldest months to ensure a ready supply. If your locale is particularly wet, consider investing in water-resistant hearing aids.
For more tips on protecting your hearing aids from the cold, talk to your Exton audiologist today.