Whether you love winter or just tolerate it, cold weather is on the way. Did you know changes in temperature can have an impact on your hearing aids? However with a little bit of prep work and awareness, you can ensure that a walk in a winter wonderland won’t expose your units to long-term damage. Here’s what you should know about cold weather and hearing aids.

Beware of moisture

Hearing aids themselves are built to withstand temperature extremes. It’s not necessarily cold or hot that may lead to problems, it is the moisture generated in and behind your ears during winter activities that is the culprit. When you are out in the cold, your body generates heat. Once you go into a warm house, that heat can turn to condensation. Both in-the-ear and behind-the-ear hearing aids can be damaged due to perspiration.

If you know you’ll be out in the cold for a while, it’s a good idea to check your hearing aids when you go inside. Check for condensation and open the battery door to allow moisture to escape. No matter what the weather, it’s always a good idea to leave your hearing aids open overnight to allow moisture to evaporate. If moisture appears often, invest in a hearing aid dehumidifier to keep your units working properly.

Bundle up

To reduce the chances of exposing your hearing aids to moisture, it’s important to stay warm when you’re outside. A hat, scarf or earmuffs can protect your hearing aids from snow, rain or sleet. If you’re exercising outside, a sweatband can help wick away moisture. More strenuous outdoor activities such as skiing or sledding can increase perspiration, so it’s recommended you remove your hearing aids before participating, or speak with your audiologist about water-resistant hearing aids.

If you do remove your hearing aids before winter activities, store them in a dry, warm place. Do not keep them in your car’s glove compartment or in your pockets.

Batteries and the cold

Hearing aid batteries like cool, dry places, not the cold of the outdoors. Your batteries are just as susceptible to cold weather as your hearing aids. Keep them dry and away from temperature extremes (and never keep them in the refrigerator). As mentioned earlier, opening the battery compartment when you come inside from the cold not only allows moisture to evaporate; it prevents moisture from building up on the batteries and contacts. Prolong battery life by removing them every night.

Winter is a time of holidays, parties and outdoor fun. Temperature changes from cold to warm or warm to cold doesn’t have to expose your hearing aids to potential damage. A little preparation and know-how means you can enjoy the season without worrying about your hearing aids.