How Cold Weather & Moisture Impact Hearing Aids
With fall upon us and cold weather approaching, it is time to take the necessary steps to get everything ready for winter. Unfortunately, many people often remember to take care of everything else but forget some important devices: their hearing aids.
Although hearing aids are designed to withstand normal conditions, extreme weather can still cause damage. These are sensitive devices that require extra maintenance, especially during the winter months. Without proper care, you may need to have them repaired or serviced.
While it is possible to repair your hearing devices, prevention is always better than cure. Here are some tips to help you continue using your hearing aids during and after the cold weather season.
How Can Cold Weather Affect Your Hearing Aids?
The moisture, low temperature, and condensation during winter are the main reasons that hearing aids become damaged. Some of the ways your devices may be affected include:
Batteries Wear Out Faster
The batteries used in most hearing aids are sensitive to temperature and do not work as well when it is colder. This low temperature weakens and dries out the batteries faster than usual.
Condensation Forms in The Hearing Aids
Low temperature during the cold weather leads to an increase in condensation. Condensation occurs when you get to areas with higher temperatures after being in cold air and collecting moisture in your hearing aids.
The condensed moisture can lead to damage to internal components such as the battery compartment. Additionally, it can prevent sound from reaching the microphones. This lowers the effectiveness of the hearing aids and could eventually lead to serious damage.
Winter Sports and Hearing Aids
Often, hearing aids users prefer to take off their hearing aids when participating in winter sports. This is to keep them dry and avoid losing them.
However, not having hearing aids could make your hearing loss worse over time. It is also risky not to wear them when engaging in sports as you cannot hear what is happening around you. Additionally, it is easy to misplace your hearing aids if you do not have them in your ears.
Signs Of Moisture Damage
Hearing aid receivers and microphones are the components most impacted by moisture and condensation during cold weather. Some of the sure-fire signs that your hearing aids have been damaged include:
- The sounds you hear are distorted and unclear
- The hearing aids stop working and start again
- The sounds you hear are faded
- You hear static noise through the hearing aids
- The hearing aid cuts out during loud noises
Hearing Aid Fixes
If you notice any of the signs above, it is recommended that you confirm your hearing aids are damaged and look into fixes. To do this, you should:
- Ensure that the hearing aid is turned on and that the T-switch is correctly placed.
- Confirm whether the batteries are correctly inserted. Additionally, check if the batteries are corroded. If you notice a white powdery substance on the batteries, you need to dispose of them and replace them immediately.
- Check the earmould and the sound outlet to ensure that they are not clogged by wax. If you use domes, check to see if they are damaged.
- Check whether there is moisture on the battery contacts, which are the parts where the batteries touch the hearing aids. If you see any, use a dry cotton swab to remove moisture.
If your hearings aids don’t work after these steps, they may have more extensive moisture damage. If they are in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids, you can buy a hearing aid drying device and use it to completely dry them out to prevent further damage.
For behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, check to see if there is moisture in the tubing. If you see any, you can get an earmould air blower to remove moisture from the tubing.
Protecting Your Hearing Aids in Winter
It is frustrating to miss out on hearing sounds or pay for repairs due to your hearing aids being damaged. To help ensure they last through the cold weather, protect them using the following methods:
Earmuffs not only keep your ears warm, but they also keep your hearing aids dry. They will help protect the hearing aids from rain, snow, and sleet. Additionally, they prevent moisture buildup, which could lead to condensation.
Get A Pair of Hearing Aid Sweatbands
Made using all-natural fabric, a hearing aid sweatband works to reduce the amount of moisture your hearing aid is in contact with. It helps remove moisture due to sweat, rain, snow, or moving from a cold to a warm environment.
The sweatbands come in different sizes and colours, are washable, and easily fit over your behind-the-ear hearing aid to keep it safe. Additionally, they serve as a windscreen for your Phonak hearing aids microphone.
Moisture is the primary cause of almost all the damage that hearing aids receive from cold weather. It is most dangerous if it reaches the battery compartments and collects in the devices. In case moisture gets to your hearing aids, take them off immediately and dry them.
Be sure to dry the battery compartments and other units of the hearing aids or allow time for the moisture to evaporate. You can also buy a hearing aid dehumidifier to help remove moisture from the devices.
More Ways to Help You Protect Your Hearing Aids
- Be sure to use an umbrella when it is raining to prevent water in the hearing aids
- Carry backup batteries
- Check your hearing aids often so that you can notice any moisture
Regardless of the cold weather, winter is a great time to have fun and bond with your loved ones. Do not let damaged hearing aids impact your enjoyment by making it harder to communicate or hear those around you. These tips above can help you make the most of the winter and keep your devices working their best.
Explore Our Range of Phonak Hearing Aids
At Bravo Hearing, you can schedule an appointment for a hearing test or check your hearing aids with our professionals. We can guide you to the right device from top brands, including Phonak. Contact us today for compassionate hearing loss treatment and solutions to help improve your quality of life.