Fall is officially here, and winter is right around the corner. The leaves are changing, and Halloween decorations are displayed in every store. Soon enough you’ll be shopping for the holidays at Augusta Mall.
The changing seasons also bring colder, wetter weather. If you use hearing aids, it’s important to know how changes in conditions can affect them.
Hearing aids are a vital investment in your health. Properly caring for them helps ensure their longevity and quality performance.
Snow and Rain Can Damage Hearing Aids
Moisture and condensation can wreak havoc on your hearing. Spending time out in the snow or getting caught in the rain (even mist) can cause a buildup of moisture to accumulate on your hearing aids.
Condensation occurs when you are exposed to extreme temperature changes. If you spend the day building a snowman with your kids or grandkids and come inside to warm up, there’s a good chance condensation will form on your hearing aids.
Over time condensation can lead to corrosion. This can damage the microphone and receiver, and even get into the battery. If this happens you can start to have issues with acoustic feedback and reduced battery life. In some cases, hearing aids could lose power completely.
What to Do?
Take your hearing aids out and dry them every night, using a drying box. A drying box is a small box that uses air and heat to dry hearing aids. Remove the battery and keep the compartment open before you put your hearing aid in. This allows for airflow throughout the device and protects the battery from damage.
You can also use non-electric dehumidifiers that come in the form of pellets or discs to dry your hearing aids.
Other Winter Issues
Modern hearing aids come with noise-canceling features to help block unpleasant sounds, but for some users, windy weather can still cause noise issues. If wind sounds are bothering you, consider using a hearing aid sleeve or make an appointment with your audiologist to discuss other options.
Another winter-related cause of unpleasant noise is feedback from wearing loose hats and hoods. Feedback occurs when something gets too close to the microphone on your hearing aid and the sound gets re-amplified creating a high-pitched whistling noise. Not only is the sound annoying, but it can also interfere with your ability to hear other sounds around you.
If you experience feedback when wearing hats or hoods try using a tighter fitting hat, or an umbrella. These can protect you from the elements while minimizing the likelihood of feedback.
If you have any additional questions about hearing aid care or wish to schedule an appointment with a hearing aid expert, call Augusta ENT today.