If you live in a cold, wet or snowy climate, the winter weather can do a number on all of your devices. This includes hearing devices, so special care should be taken during the colder season to adequately protect your hearing aids and your hearing. Here are a few things to keep in mind as winter approaches.
Earmuffs Are Your Friends
Earmuffs have a bigger use than just keeping your ears warm: there are earmuffs that can also protect your ears from excessive noise that can damage your hearing. The best way to combat hearing damage is prevention, even if you already suffer from hearing loss.
Luckily, prevention is often fairly easy with just a little foresight and planning.
Limiting your exposure to loud noises is key to preventing the majority of hearing damage. Purchasing a pair of noise-reducing earmuffs is a wise investment: they can reduce noise exposure by as much as 30 dB (anything over 80 dB can damage hearing and cause hearing loss). They aren’t only for winter, either: you can use them year round, from noisy football games to mowing the lawn or 4th of July fireworks shows. Noise-reduction earmuffs are affordable; they start at about $10.
Sweat Bands Can Protect Your Devices
If you engage in activities in which you sweat, including sports activities year-round, an inexpensive sweat band can help protect your hearing aids from damaging moisture. Hearing aid sweat bands are specifically designed to protect hearing aids worn outside the ear, and they start at about $20. They are available in many colors and sizes, and are easily washable and easy to wear. They can also serve as a wind screen to prevent wind feedback in your microphone when you are outside.
Your Memory Settings Can Protect Your Hearing
Many hearing aids have memory settings that adjust the volume on your hearing aids if you come in contact with very loud noises. In the winter, snow blowers and snow mobiles can expose you to high levels of noise: louder than 100 dB! Check with your audiologist to see if your hearing aids have memory settings and find out how you can use them to protect your ears against excessive noise year-round by programming them for aggressive noise reduction.
Dry Batteries Last Longer
Humidity, moisture, and changes in temperature can affect the life of your hearing aid batteries. When you turn your hearing aid off at night, take a look at the battery compartment, ensuring it is free of moisture, and wipe it with a soft, dry cloth before storing.
Dehumidify for Longer Life
Like the batteries, the other components of hearing aids are sensitive to temperature changes and moisture. These factors can affect the performance and the lifespan of your hearing aids. A hearing aid dehumidifier is inexpensive and can prolong the life of your hearing devices by removing moisture at night while you are sleeping; some even sanitize them as well! Hearing aid dehumidifiers range from $5 to $100 and can be purchased through your audiologist, online or even in some drug stores.
With just a little bit of planning, your hearing devices and your hearing can be protected from damage in the winter and throughout the year.
Here at California Hearing Center we are committed to your hearing health. Call us today to set up an appointment for a hearing screening.