Although the colder weather is already upon us, it’s not too late to winterize your belongings, whether your house, car, or plants. But did you know you can (and should!) also protect your hearing aids for the winter? From adjusting to the noises of the season to keeping them dry and their batteries away from the cold, follow these tips to make sure your hearing aids work properly all winter long.
Protect against moisture
As small, battery-powered devices, excessive moisture can be damaging to your hearing aids. Unfortunately, winter presents numerous opportunities for your hearing aids to get wet. While precipitation in all its forms (rain, snow, sleet, hail) are of concern, the bigger threat is the condensation that forms in your hearing aids when you enter a warm building from the cold air outside. This rapid change in temperature causes moisture to form inside the hearing aids and their battery compartments, which can damage the devices and corrode batteries.
You can protect against moisture by wearing special hearing aid sweat bands, or at least earmuffs or a hat, to help wick away moisture from your hearing aids. It is also important throughout the winter to properly dehumidify your hearing aids each night to make sure they are dried out sufficiently and remain in good working order throughout the season.
Keep batteries out of the cold
While your hearing aids should be able to stand up to cold temperatures outside, frigid weather can affect the batteries and shorten their lifespan. You can keep them working as long as intended by minimizing exposure to the cold. Again, wearing earmuffs or a hat can help in this regard. But what do you do with the new batteries until you need them? While it’s best to keep them in a dry, warm, and safe place away from kids and pets, it’s always a good idea to have an extra set on you when not at home. However, instead of keeping them in your car, you can leave some in a drawer at work. And when transporting the batteries outdoors, try to keep them close to your body rather than in a shopping bag or purse.
Change settings to minimize excessive noise
While a fresh snowfall may look beautiful, the white powder invites some rather noisy machinery. Whether cleaning your driveway with a snow blower or riding over the snowdrifts with a snowmobile, your ears can be exposed to loud noises. If you plan on using either of these machines during the winter season, you can reduce the chance for damage to your hearing by wearing muff-style hearing protectors over your hearing aids. Experiment with different types to find the most comfortable fit. If these don’t work out, then talk to your hearing care professional about additional options to protect your hearing during the winter.
Keep your hearing aids safe
While the cold weather only lasts a few months, you’ll want to protect your hearing aids throughout the season. Follow the advice above and you can make sure your hearing aids, their batteries, and your hearing health are well protected this winter.