Hearing Aid Care in the Winter
by Liz Kobylak, Hearing Technology Resource Specialist
Winter in Michigan brings challenges. For people who wear hearing aids this is a time of year to take extra precautions in order to keep hearing aids working well and prevent damage to or even possible loss of the instruments.
The change in temperatures means we are donning extra clothing such as jackets, hats and scarves. It is easy to snag a hearing aid or a cochlear implant while putting on or removing these items. It is a good idea for hearing aid wearers to check that hearing aids are placed properly and securely frequently. This is especially true if one engages in outdoor activities during the winter. Those AWOL (absent without official leave) hearing aids are almost impossible to find in the snow.
The cold weather also means we often go from a warm environment (home or car) to a cold one (outside) and back again several times in the course of the day. This can result in condensation which can affect performance of hearing aids. A hearing aid dryer will reduce moisture damage to the instruments. Whether one uses a silica based hearing aid dryer or an electronic one, consistent use will help the instruments perform better and reduce the risk of damage. Batteries are not placed into hearing aid dehumidifiers, only the instruments.
People who wear behind-the-ear hearing aids with ear molds and tubing sometimes discover that condensation has developed within the tubes and sound is being blocked by the moisture. An earmold blower allows the consumer to easily remove the moisture without a visit to the hearing aid provider.
Extreme cold can impact battery life and performance. Carrying extra batteries helps keep us prepared and ensures that communication is not unexpectedly lost. We all know batteries never die at a convenient time, right? J
Dehumidifier devices can be purchased online at http://www.harc.com/ or http://www.harriscomm.com/. (Exclusion of other vendors does not suggest disapproval.) Hearing aid air blowers can be purchased at most drugstores.
Keep warm and be safe.