Hearing aids & cold weather

Hearing aids problems in winter

Winter is coming. The time of year that most threatens our ear and hearing aid health. In fact, it is during the winter months that cold-related diseas, such as tinnitus or otitis, most commonly surface and it becomes necessary to adopt preventive behaviors and/or go the extra mile to care of our hearing devices, using things such as hearing aid dehumidifiers.

How does cold weather affect your hearing aid?

Winter can be a tough test for the hearing aid due to extreme temperatures. Factors such as humidity, extreme temperature shift and cold weather, if not managed properly, can prevent hearing devices from functioning properly and lower their performance. The good news is that all it takes is a little prevention and a few simple precautions to avoid these problems.

Can extreme temperatures ruin a hearing aid?

The ideal temperature to store a hearing aid is about 20 degrees Celsius, more commonly known as "room temperature". Under these conditions, electronic components and batteries work well and at optimal performance. However, when we expose these components to extreme temperatures we affect their normal functioning. For example, in temperatures below 10 degrees, the internal resistance of batteries is lowered and as a result there is a reduction in their efficiency. In other words, the battery of the hearing aid will not last as long. 

Can moisture damage a hearing aid?

Like with any electrical device, when water comes into contact with electronic components it may cause short circuits. For this reason, moisture is one of the greatest enemies of hearing aids. In winter, there is often a risk of condensation inside the device due to temperature changes. In fact, the air inside the device has water vapor that, just like that in the atmosphere, turns into actual water upon contact with a surface or cold air. Leaving the house on a particularly cold winter day can put the device at risk of damage: the sudden change between the temperature of the house and the temperature of the outside environment is enough to create condensation. 

Can wind damage a hearing aid?

Another factor that should not be underestimated is wind. In addition to creating unwanted noise and interference, wind can contaminate the hearing aid. In fact, wind, especially at high speeds, lifts and drags dust particles and fragments that can enter the device. These fragments can cause permanent damage and impair the function of the hearing aid. 

Can you wear hearing aids in the rain?

Rain, with its unpredictability, poses one of the greatest threats to a hearing aid. A sudden downpour or a light drizzle exposes the device to the same type of risk if proper prevention is not taken. This is because water and electrical circuits do not go hand and hand regardless of the amount of water it may be exposed to. To avoid any problems, it is always best to protect your device from the rain, whatever its nature may be, and ensure the device has not being exposed to too much water or humidity. 

Is my hearing aid waterproof? Details Here

Winter holidays: what should I do for my hearing aid?

Always bring extra batteries

You certainly cannot control temperature or weather changes, but you can control their effect on your hearing aid can. That's why, during winter, a good strategy is to get some extra hearing aid batteries, even if the ones you have seem to be just fine. Since cold weather can contribute to wearing them out sooner, extra batteries can prevent some discomfort, especially if you love traveling during the colder months. 

Wearing a hearing aids protector

One of the most useful solutions to lower the risk of hearing aid malfunction during winter is to use a protective cover. An extra layer helps reduce the damaging actions of wind, rain and temperature changes because it helps insulate the device from the external environment and prevent water and dirt from getting inside the device.

Open your battery case

On the event of frequent contact with rain or extreme temperature changes, it is best air out your hearing aid batteries. Doing so allows any water contained inside the battery case to dry out. This precaution is especially important to observe if you own a hearing aid that is not waterproof.

Use a dry/cleaning kit or dehumidifier

Luckily, there are a few technologies out that can help you protect you hearing aids during the inter months. The hearing aid dehumidifier, or drying kit, allows you to remove moisture chemically or electrically from the inside of the hearing aid. Among the solutions offered by Amplifon, you can choose "ampliclear" dehydrating capsules or electric drying boxes, both convenient solutions also when traveling.

Would you like to have a pre-departure check on your hearing aid?

Book an appointment and come and visit us at one of our Amplifon clinics, our hearing care professionals will be ready to answer any of your curiosities.

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Protecting hearing aids and ears from the cold

Taking care of hearing aids means taking care of your ears, which is why we should always protect the devices even on vacation. To avoid exposing them to the cold, you can wear a hat, a beanie or earmuffs. In case of rain, you can also opt for a rain hat. The important thing is that it is able to keep both ears and hearing aids warm and protected.

The importance of proper hearing aid maintenance

One of the most important factors of proper hearing aid care is routine maintenance. To ensure the proper functioning of the device, one should not forget to:

  • Protect it from the cold with hats, headbands and protective coverings.
  • Clean the device often.
  • Use the dehumidifier for hearing aids.
  • Do not subject batteries to extreme temperatures and change them when necessary.

These simple actions can make not only a vacation better, but also your everyday life with the device. 

Tinnitus and winter

Tinnitus and winter often go hand in hand. Properly functioning hearing aids can help prevent the onset of discomfort. It is best to keep in mind that the cold could easily affect the functionality of tinnitus-specific devices, such as the Titinnus Noiuser or Masker. Oftentimes, the cold may trigger unwanted feedback, a whistling sound emitted by the device itself. Protectors, dehumidifiers and proper cleaning precautions can help keep your hearing clean functioning propefly all winter long. 

Ski season with hearing aids

Hearing aids can be used when practicing winter sports, such as skiing and snowboarding. Some of the greatest sportsmen wear their aids while skiing. A few precautions are all you need to be able to make use of your device when practicing extreme sports. For example, protecting the hearing aids from the wind is a must, as you do not wish to bothered by invasive or unwanted noises. However, the most important precaution to keep in mind is to keep them away from the snow and ensure that they do not get wet. Using a tight-fitting, insulating hat or headband can prevent both scenarios and protect the batteries from extreme temperatures. 

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