Baby it’s cold outside! Here comes winter and with it chilly weather and the potential for snow and sleet. There’s also the promise of for winter sports, some snow shoveling, or outdoor holiday activities. As you bundle up, consider how to care for your hearing aids in cold weather. A few precautions in the short run can save you big problems in the long run.

Protect your hearing aids

It’s smart to wear a hat, earmuffs or a scarf in cold weather, and that applies to everyone, not just hearing aid wearers! Keeping your ears covered in brisk temperatures helps keep your units dry and warm, especially in snow, sleet, and rain.

If you participate in winter sports such as skiing, snowmobiling, or other strenuous outdoor activities, it may be prudent to remove your hearing aids and leave them inside – not in the cold car or coat pockets. With the potential for water damage from precipitation or perspiration, erring on the side of caution is a good bet.

Perform a thorough check

It’s a good idea to let your hearing aids breathe after exposure to the cold. It’s not the temperature that can cause a problem, it’s moving from cold temperatures to warmer temperatures. When you come in from the cold, especially if you’ve exerted yourself in any way, perspiration and condensation can lead to moisture in your hearing aid.

Once you’re inside and warmed up, remove your hearing aids and give them a good wipe down and examination. Open the battery compartment and check for condensation. Moisture also can collect inside the earpiece, or in tubing in behind-the-ear units. Hearing aid sweatbands can help wick away moisture in those models. Leave the battery door open for a bit to allow for air circulation.

If you find that your hearing aids seem to collect moisture, consider investing in a hearing aid dehumidifier.

Troubleshooting hearing aid problems

Should you encounter static, crackling, weak sound or no sound (all symptoms of excess moisture), the first step is to replace your batteries. Cold batteries have a shorter shelf life.

If you suspect your units got wet, there are some home remedies. Utilize your hearing aid dehumidifier and remove the batteries and use a cloth or cotton swab to dry the components that can be easily reached.

If these remedies don’t fix the issue, contact your audiologist.

How to care for your hearing aids in cold weather isn’t drastically different from caring for your units any other time of the year. Just a few minor precautions can ensure that Old Man Winter won’t get the best of you!