Snow is beautiful to look at, but get it near your hearing aids and there could be trouble! The cold weather brings some potential issues for people with hearing aids. But these tips for wearing hearing aids in winter may help reduce your worries.

Be prepared

The old scout motto applies to hearing aid wearers this time of year. It’s not so much the cold that is the problem; it’s the changes in temperature when you come into a warm building from the cold outside.

  • Keep spare batteries on hand. Sometimes the winter cold drains your batteries faster than normal. If you have spare batteries you can be assured you won’t be without your hearing aids.
  • Cover your head (and ears). It’s important that your hearing aids stay dry, so wearing a hat, scarf or earmuffs is imperative, especially in the snow, sleet or rain. Moisture one of the leading reasons for hearing aid repairs.
  • Protect your hearing aids. If you’re an avid skier, love snowmobiling, or play other winter sports, it’s vital to safeguard your units. With these and other energetic winter activities, it’s best to remove your hearing aids and store them in a warm, dry place. That way they are not exposed to excessive moisture due to perspiration and precipitation.

Banish moisture

The condensation that occurs when you go from cold to warm can cause moisture in your hearing aids, including inside the unit itself, as well as the battery compartment.

  • Wick away perspiration. Wear a hat that helps absorb rather than create moisture (a breathable material) during vigorous outdoor activities such as exercise or shoveling snow. If you have behind-the-ear hearing aids, consider hearing aid sweatbands that absorb moisture and keep out dirt and dust.
  • Let your hearing aids breathe. Once you’re inside, remove your hearing aids and wipe them down. Open the battery compartment and check for condensation. Sometimes a quick wipe around the battery compartment with a cotton swab will absorb moisture.
  • Consider a hearing aid dehumidifier. When you take out your units for the night, open the battery door and allow evaporation. Many people find a hearing aid dehumidifier helpful to remove moisture and extend the life of the hearing aids.

Know the symptoms of a malfunctioning hearing aid

Because moisture is the number one reason for hearing aid repairs, these problems can occur with exposure to snow, sleet or rain:

  • Hearing aid is dead or produces no sound. Dry off the hearing aid and replace the battery.
  • Weak sound or intermittent sound. The earmold may have moisture inside. Clean your hearing aids. In behind-the-ear models, check the tubing for moisture.
  • Crackling or static sound. Wipe the units and allow to dry, preferably in a dehumidifier.

If any of these problems persist, see your audiologist.

Most hearing aids are water-resistant not waterproof. Wearing hearing aids in winter is no different than any other time of year as long as you keep your units dry. Go ahead and make that snowman!