Now that winter is here (or what passes for it in sunny California), it’s important to take care of your hearing aids by protecting them from the cold. And while it’s true that people with hearing loss in La Verne don’t fact the same cold temperature extremes as those in other parts of the U.S., many people travel over the holidays. If grandmother’s house is over the river and through the woods in a colder climate, you’ll be prepared.
Cold & Moisture Can Damage Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are sophisticated electronic devices; like other high-tech products, cold weather can affect their performance. Batteries lose capacity in low temperatures and can drain faster than anticipated, and condensation may cause a short in the internal circuitry. Your VISA bill is already high this time of year; adding a costly repair to your tab won’t leave you feeling merry or bright.
Your LaVerne audiologist recommends the following tips to protect your hearing aids during the winter months.
Protect them from the cold
Cold temperatures cause hearing aid batteries to drain quickly; when traveling, bring extras—more than you think you’ll need, to ensure you aren’t without hearing aids during important family get-togethers or holiday recitals. Don’t leave your hearing aids in a cold car or near a drafty window; when wearing them outside, cover up with a hat, scarf, earmuffs or stocking cap. If you’re going to be ice skating, skiing, snowboarding or taking part in another winter sports activity, consider removing them and storing them in a safe, warm place until you’re done.
Keep them away from moisture
Your body doesn’t care if it’s 10º outside; if you’re engaged in vigorous physical activity, you can still sweat. Keep perspiration from affecting your hearing aids by wearing a breathable moisture-absorbing hat or a hearing aid sweatband if you wear behind-the-ear hearing aids. Be wary of condensation; your body generates heat outdoors, and when you go inside, this condenses into moisture that could harm your devices. Take them out when you step inside and wipe them down with a soft cloth to remove all moisture. Leave the battery compartment door open overnight for ventilation; if you have a dehumidifier, placing them in there will help prevent moisture from building up.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind: don’t place hearing aids near a heater or use a hair dryer to remove moisture; both can cause them to melt. Stock up on extra batteries and, if you are extremely active outdoors this time of year, consider investing in water-resistant hearing aids, especially if it’s time for an upgrade.
If you’d like more information on protecting your hearing aids from cold and moisture, contact an audiologist in LaVerne.