Winter is upon us, and whether you’re an avid skier or just live in upstate New York, it’s important to know how this colder weather affects your hearing aids.
Now, most hearing aids are designed to resist cold temperatures, but these winter conditions still call for a little extra vigilance for hearing aid users. The dry, cold air can cause zinc-air batteries to drain faster than they usually might, and, without proper care, condensation can build up within the hearing aid, causing moisture damage and the device to stop functioning correctly. So, it’s worth considering taking a few extra steps this winter to keep your hearing aids performing at their best.
Batteries and the cold air don’t tend to mix well, especially the zinc-air batteries in hearing aids, which can drain quicker than normal in the winter months. So, this winter, do yourself a favor and carry extra batteries with you. This way, you’ll never be caught with a dead battery and no replacement while you’re out and about, whether it’s sledding with the grandkids or finishing up that holiday shopping.
Just like glasses fogging up when coming inside from the cold, similarly condensation forms within your hearing aid with frequent temperature changes. This condensation buildup can lead to corrosion and the prevention of sound reaching the microphone. To prevent this, wear breathable hats, earmuff, and scarves, to keep your ears shielded from the moisture. When you come inside, take your hearing aids out and open up the battery compartment. Use a cotton swab to wipe away any moisture inside. It might also be worth considering investing in a hearing aid dehumidifier to be sure you get rid of any excess moisture you may not be able to clear out yourself. If you start hearing static or crackling or notice that your hearing aid is quieter than usual, thoroughly dry them and place them in a dehumidifier.
If you enjoy winter sports, you should be careful with your hearing aids. While some people take their hearing aids out when hitting the slopes to keep them dry and prevent them from getting lost, you might not want to be left without the ability to better hear what’s going on around you. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to choose between keeping your safe and your hearing. There are companies that offer ear-gear, covers for your hearing aids that keep them dry and shielded. Some are even corded, so that you can ensure that even if your hearing aids fall out, they will stay with you.
Whether you love winter or hate it, these tips can help keep your hearing aids at peak performance. So, go ahead and hit those slopes! Or, if you’re more like me, put on a good movie and curl up under a fuzzy blanket.