5 Essential Tips for Wearing Hearing Aids in Winter
Winter can be a difficult time for hearing aid users, especially if they find themselves traveling, attending holiday reunions, and playing winter sports. Here are five essential tips to help you survive the winter.
For people that detest the heat, wintertime is a dream come true, with plenty of opportunities to have fun in the cold. However, chilly weather and the flurry of holiday activities can cause issues for those that use hearing aids.
In order to make the most of your winter vacation, it’s important to make things easier on yourself and your loved ones. Whether you’ll be spending the season having dinner with family, traveling to far-off places, or playing winter sports, there are quite a few tips that can improve your experience.
Here are some of the most useful tips for hearing aids in winter, and how they can help you enjoy your vacation.
Monitor your hearing health this winter
It’s important to maintain healthy hearing, no matter what time of year it is. Whether you’re spending the winter with hearing aids or don’t currently use them, you need to keep an eye — or an ear — on how you’re hearing.
Cold weather and moisture can cause hearing aids to malfunction, especially if they aren’t properly cared for. If you find yourself going from the chilly outdoors to a warm building, make sure to wipe down your hearing aids and make sure they aren’t collecting condensation.
If you hear crackling, weakened sound, or static, thoroughly dry your hearing aids and place them in a dehumidifier.
If you don’t already own a dehumidifier, it is recommended that you invest in one this winter. These devices can help you clear out any excess moisture in your hearing aids and avoid damage to the internal functions.
Even if you don’t use hearing aids, people with tinnitus might suffer from exacerbated symptoms in the wintertime. If you’ve been hearing abnormally loud clicking, ringing, or roaring in your ears, it might be a sign that you need a hearing test.
Prepare for traveling
If you plan on traveling this winter, it’s vital that you make allowances for your hearing aids. Forgetting important items, misplacing accessories, and even choosing the wrong seat on the airplane can cause hiccups in your holiday plans.
Print your tickets ahead of time, bring a friend to help you navigate the noisy airport, and make sure you’re not seated in the emergency exit seats.
Visit your audiologist before the trip to make sure you’re adequately prepared and don’t forget your accessories! Microphones, your hearing aid drying kit, dehumidifier, and extra batteries should be present in your carry-on. If your checked bags get lost, you don’t want to be left without your necessities.
If you use rechargeable hearing aids, make sure to pack converters if you’re flying to another country. Also check to make sure your charging kit is safe, along with any portable batteries you’re bringing.
Play it safe while playing
If you enjoy playing winter sports, you might end up using your hearing aids in cold weather. Some people choose to take off their hearing aids before going skiing or sledding, but this can be a dangerous decision. It’s important to equip yourself before playing sports, especially if they require you to venture into nature.
However, the idea of damaging or losing your hearing aids in the snow is equally scary. In order to protect your hearing aids, it’s important to invest in the proper headgear and equipment. Many places offer cords and covers for your hearing aids, which will wick away moisture and prevent them from getting lost.
Even slipping on a hat or headband can keep your hearing aids in place and soak up sweat. For high-intensity sports like hockey or skiing, special hearing aid helmets can be found online.
Enjoy the holidays with hearing aids
Holidays are a huge part of wintertime and winter vacation, so you naturally want to enjoy them. However, parties and family gatherings can be difficult for those with hearing loss. It’s not impossible to take part in big dinners and celebrations, but you might need some tips on how to make the experience more enjoyable.
Grabbing a dinner buddy is a good way to make sure you don’t miss out on the table conversation. You can also let the host know about your hearing loss, and politely ask that accommodations are made for you.
A designated quiet area and calm conversation are all good ways to make allowances for people with hearing loss. These arrangements are also good for those with anxiety, or people who feel stressed in loud environments.
Consider rechargeable hearing aids
Wearing hearing aids in winter can be an issue, especially if you use zinc-air batteries. The dry, cold air reduces the available voltage within the battery, making your batteries work harder to power your hearing aid. This causes them to wear out faster, so you have to change your batteries far more often.
To avoid the hassle and regular costs associated with zinc-air batteries, many hearing aid wearers are turning to lithium-ion batteries. These are rechargeable batteries that don’t need replacing. At the end of each day, simply place your hearing aids in their charger. By morning, they’re ready to go again.
Rechargeable hearing aids cut out disposable batteries entirely, so you don’t have to spend time, energy, or money buying and replacing them every few weeks. If you use your hearing aids often and regularly stream audio, rechargeable hearing aids are a huge step up.