While cold air itself is not necessarily damaging to hearing aids, the moisture that occurs from snow, and temperature fluctuations that can harm hearing aid tubes and the delicate circuitry around them. When we’re bundled up outdoors in the cold air, and then go inside where temperatures are significantly warmer, the temperature change causes moisture to form. Moisture can negatively affect the microphone, receiver, and earmold tubing in a hearing aid unit, which can cause a change in sound or result in no sound at all.
You can help prevent moisture damage to your hearing aids by following these expert tips:
1. Keep Extra Batteries On Hand
There are two types of hearing aid batteries – rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and zinc-air disposable batteries. Since batteries (especially zinc-air batteries) drain more quickly in the winter months, make sure you always carry a few extra. This will prevent you from ending up with a dead battery and no replacement when you’re out and about.
2. Cover Your Head And Ears With Protective Clothing
When your hearing aids are exposed to cold air, it increases the risk of condensation build-up. It’s very important to keep your head and ears warm and dry before you go outside for any length of time. Moisture-absorbing hats, earmuffs, and scarves will help protect your hearing aids from the cold, as well as the snow, sleet, and precipitation. If you wear behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, there are hearing aid accessories that can help, such as moisture-wicking hearing aid sweatbands.
3. Store Your Hearing Aids Safely Before Outside Activities
Whether you’re an avid skier or simply stuck outside shoveling during heavy snowfall, it’s best to remove your hearing aids and keep them in a warm, dry place before you do anything physically exerting. Perspiration and precipitation can both damage hearing aids, and it is nearly impossible to avoid both of those things when you are exercising outside during the winter. Never place your hearing aids in your car or inside of your pockets, as this will not protect them from the cold temperatures. Instead, opt for a hearing aid storage case to keep them warm and dry.
4. Don’t Forget to Air Out Your Hearing Aids
When you come back inside after being outdoors, take a clean, soft cloth and wipe your hearing aids down until they are free of moisture. Open up the battery compartment to check for condensation, and wipe it away with a cotton swab. You can also use a hearing aid dehumidifier, an air blower, or a puffer to remove any moisture from the ear mold and/or tubing. This will help extend the life of your hearing aids, and make sure they continue to operate at an optimal level.
For all of your hearing needs, contact Tim Harmon at Purchase Ear Technology in Paducah, KY. Purchase Ear Technology is conveniently located at 2008 Broadway St, Paducah, KY 42001. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, give us a call at 270-558-3996 or CLICK HERE to contact us. At Purchase Ear Technology, you are more than a patient. You are FAMILY!