We were reminded quite abruptly this week that winter is just around the corner. I like winter well enough. I actually missed it when I lived in Southern California. This is the time of year we look around the house and start winterizing. The garden hose has to be hung up. Storm windows replace screens. And, flower beds need to be cleared out. What does any of this have to do with hearing aids? Nothing really. But winter does bring some considerations for hearing aids that other seasons don’t.
Condensation! It’s cold outside. When we wear our hearing aids outside, they get cold. When we comeback in, they warm up fast.
1) Condensation in the tubing will form a bead of water where the tube bends at the mold. This bead of water will block any sound from getting into the ear canal. If your BTE hearing aids stops working when you come in from the cold, look for that bead of water and tap the mold on a tissue till the bead falls out.
2) If the condensation is on the battery, the moisture will lead to corrosion in the battery compartment. It will then work back into the circuitry. Corrosion in the hearing aid will destroy it. If your glasses fog up when you come in, just assume the battery has condensation as well. Open the battery doors and dry off the batteries.
3) Sweat is still a factor. Shoveling the walk is hard work! Your hearing aid will get wet from perspiration in the winter just like in the summer. Unlike in the summer, when you take your hat off to wipe your brow the cold air against the wet hearing aids may chill down so quickly that the sweat turns into a skim of frost on the hearing aids. When you come in you need to dry the hearing aids.
4) Spending a great deal of time outside in the winter tends to make the ends of our fingers and toes and ears and nose lose a little bit of feeling. Use extra caution when taking off a hat or scarf. You don’t want to knock the hearing aids off and not know it. Yes, we have L&D coverage, but I’d rather not use it if we don’t have to.
5) And, don’t forget to build a snowman. Make snow angels with your kiddos. Drink hot cocoa from a thermos. Live each day to the fullest.
Send us a picture of your Winter Wonderland creations. We’d love to share them on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/hearbetterevansville.