If you don’t take proper care of your hearing aids, frigid winter weather can lead to problems for your devices. Although the hearing aids can be repaired, the device’s overall function requires taking serious preventative measures.
How Hearing Aids are Affected by Cold and Moisture
Extreme climate can negatively impact hearing aids, along with their batteries. It’s not simply the chilly temperatures that cause the damage, rather it’s the condensation that develops as a result of changes in temperatures. This moisture is what damages the electronic components of the hearing aids. Severe temperature shifts can lead to condensation, which could lead to deterioration in the electronic make-up of the hearing aids. Moisture is always present in the colder seasons, due to intense temperature shifts that are prevalent during the winter season.
Take, for example, if you are walking through very cold weather, you’ll probably be wrapped in warm clothes with a hat covering your ears. When you go indoors, it might be significantly warmer because the thermostat is turned up. After removing your coat and other winter clothes, the shift in temperature can create condensation inside your hearing aids. If you were sweating from the warm clothes or from moving around, sweat may have dripped from your head, which can lead to damaged hearing aids and hearing aid batteries.
How do You know if there is Moisture Damage to my Hearing Aids?
Any ounce of moisture can destroy your hearing aids’ microphone and receiver. It can also obstruct the tubing that is connected to the domes or earmold, which can lead to corrosion. Here are some common signs that your hearing aids are damaged from moisture:
Hearing Aid Adjustments
After your hearing aids have been exposed to moisture, check the following:
If none of these appear to be the problem, there may be moisture in the hearing aid. For behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids, examine the outside and inside part of the tubing for moisture droplets. For earmold users, an earmold puffer can be purchased and used. This device will blow out moisture.
If you wear in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids, it may be a little more difficult to extract moisture. If you don’t already own a hearing aid dryer to store your hearing aids in, getting one would be handy to dry them and prevent damage.
What to Wear with your Hearing Aids in Cold Weather
It’s not easy to stop moisture from getting in your hearing aids, but there are some things that you can do to try and keep your hearing aids dry and fully functioning.
Protect Your Hearing Aids with Earmuffs
Earmuffs not only keep your ears warm, but there are special pairs that can protect your hearing from dangerous noise levels. If you already have hearing loss, it’s a good idea to prevent further damage by taking precautions and reducing the amount of time spent in loud areas. Noise-reduction earmuffs are not simply for winter. They will be helpful in any noisy environment, from areas that require you to operate heavy machinery to watching and hearing fireworks.
Protect Your Hearing Aids with Sweatbands
If you are active in the wintertime and wear hearing aids, your sweat could be a damaging factor for your hearing devices. You may also encounter heavy snow or freezing rain. Reduce the amount of moisture you expose to your behind-the-ear hearing aids. If they are exposed as a result of sweat or precipitation, invest in sweatbands. These will absorb the sweat from your body instead of allowing the moisture to ruin your hearing devices. They typically repel moisture and block the sound of wind from your hearing aids.
Wise Investments for Your Hearing Aids
Protect Your Ears in the Winter
If your ears hurt when exposed to cold weather, this could be frostbite. Please keep your ears covered in frigid weather to reduce feelings of frostbite.
Too much exposure to extreme elements of cold and wet conditions can cause exostosis. This is also referred to as “surfer’s ear”. It occurs to those who spend a lot of time in or around cold water. Exostosis occurs when exposure to cold leads to abnormal bone growths on the bone that surrounds the ear canal. As a result, there can be an obstruction in the ear canal, which raises the risk of infection caused by trapped fluid. The condition can be corrected through surgery, but it’s still advised to keep your ears warm and dry.
Cold Weather and Tinnitus
Tinnitus can trigger some people’s tinnitus. Research indicates that people search the internet more frequently about tinnitus during the winter. It’s not completely known as to why tinnitus cases rise during the winter season. It may be affected by colds and cases of the flu (which can cause more pressure in the ear), consuming salty foods that cause high blood pressure, as well as higher rates of depression and stress. All of these factors can trigger tinnitus.
Sudden Pressure Change
A shift in barometric pressure can lead to a clogged feeling in your ears during any season. Common respiratory infections that occur during certain periods of the year can leave you feeling lousy. You can learn more about clogged ears from this link.
Why do Ear Infections frequently occur in Winter?
In the winter, parts of your body get colder which leads to poor blood circulation. This includes blood that is circulated to your ears. The winter season also brings a higher risk of bacteria and virus infections. When you combine these factors, you have a high risk of sinus infections and a condition called otitis media - an ear infection.
Otitis media cause painful swelling and inflammation in the middle ear. The swelling and infection can build and add pressure behind your eardrum, which obstructs the fluid that drains from the Eustachian tube. Most ear infections can be treated with antibiotics, but the fluid needs to run clear, or else you can experience temporary hearing loss. The flu and colds should be treated immediately with medication, rest, and consuming fluids.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing hearing loss and need a hearing test, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.