How to enjoy winter sports safely with hearing aids
Hearing aids and winter sports, don’t always combine well. However, advancements in hearing technology and special inventions have made it easier for people to enjoy winter sports while still using their hearing aids.
In the past, many people would take off their hearing aids before going out to ski, snowboard or sled. This is dangerous for a number of reasons. It’s important to maintain communication with those around you – and that can be difficult without hearing aids.
Maintaining awareness is also important. Going out without hearing aids could potentially lead to serious injury. You need to hear the world around you, especially when venturing into nature. The sound of voices, avalanches, and ice cracking might be your only warning before an accident!
That being said, taking your hearing aids with you could also result in incidents. The last thing you want is to accidentally lose or damage your hearing aids. To avoid accidents, people have come up with innovations and tips on how to protect your hearing aids, while you are enjoying winter sports.
Here are some things you need to know before taking your hearing aids along, and tips on how to properly care for your hearing aids.
Hearing aids and cold weather don’t mix too well
Before you can begin taking measures to avoid damaged hearing aids, it’s important to know how the cold interferes with them. It’s common knowledge that hearing aids can drain zinc-air batteries very quickly. The cold, dry air reduces the voltage of the batteries, causing them to run out quicker.
Because of this, it’s important to pack extra batteries or invest in hearing aids equipped with lithium-ion batteries. Li-ion batteries can be recharged at the end of every day, so you’re less likely to be left ‘battery-less’ during your trip.
If rechargeable hearing aids are a concept you’re interested in, Signia has a calculator that can help you determine how much you can save on zinc-air batteries by making the switch. The one-time purchase of rechargeable hearing aids pays off over time, and you don’t have to spend time or energy purchasing replacement batteries every few weeks.
Condensation is another issue in cold weather. If you’ve ever come in from the cold while wearing glasses, you might have noticed that your glasses fog up. The same effect happens to hearing aids when they go from being cold to warm. If this excess moisture stays on your hearing aids, it could cause moisture damage.
Recognising and preventing moisture damage
After using your hearing aids whilst taking part in winter sports, you might venture inside to get warm. Going from a cold place to a warm environment can cause condensation to build up on your hearing aids. If this moisture manages to get inside your hearing aid, it can cause a number of problems. This includes lost or weakened sound, crackling, or static. If you hear odd noises coming from your hearing aids, or they stop working entirely, do your best to solve the problem as soon as possible.
Use drying kits or q-tips to wick away any visible water and check the tubing and/or earmolds for moisture. Replace the batteries if the hearing aid is running low and open the battery compartment. After wiping down the area with a cloth or cotton ball, leave it open to allow for air circulation.
After doing these things, place your hearing aids in a dehumidifier to clear up any excess. If the odd sounds continue, take your hearing aids to your hearing care provider after the trip. They should be able to recognise or fix any remaining issues.
Protecting your hearing aids in winter
It’s scary enough to have a hearing aid fall off in wet weather, but it’s even scarier to lose your hearing aids in the snow. The water can damage them, and it can be difficult to find them once they’re lost. To avoid having your trip ruined by a hearing aid incident, it’s important to invest in protective clothing.
Some companies offer ear-gear, which helps hold hearing aids in place and keep them from getting lost. These include cords and sleeves to protect your hearing aids from moisture, sweat, and other forms of damage. They also prevent against your hearing aids getting lost, so even if they fall from your ears, the neck cord will hold them in place.
Wearing a hearing aid ski helmet can also help protect your hearing aids while doing winter sports. In addition, sweatbands and breathable hats can also help absorb sweat and moisture from your hearing aids while skiing or doing an alternative winter sport. If you don’t have a cord holding your hearing aids in place, these hats and sweatbands can help in that regard as well.
Aside from protective gear, dehumidifiers are a necessity when going on a winter trip. They can help at any time of the year, but especially during the winter. They dry out excess moisture in your hearing aids and can be used every night while you sleep. If you don’t already own a hearing aid dehumidifier, you should consider buying one.
Choosing winter-friendly hearing aids
Wearing hearing aids and taking part in winter sports isn’t impossible, especially if you choose the right hearing aid. While older models might be a bit more difficult and unwieldy, recent technology has made hearing aids easier to use in all situations.
If you’re interested in buying hearing aids or want to upgrade your current pair, look into active hearing aids. These are brands or models that are designed for on-the-go individuals who enjoy sports, hiking, or travel.
One example is the Pure Charge&Go Nx by Signia, which was built with active people in mind. Along with a sleek, comfortable design, it also offers wireless rechargeability, audio streaming, and Own Voice Processing (OVP). Its IP68 rating means that it is resistant to not only dust, but also humidity, spray, and condensation.
Having the freedom to listen to music, stream phone calls, and feel comfortable with your own voice is something many hearing aid wearers have been looking for. The flexibility of active hearing aids also makes it easier to enjoy different activities, like winter sports or dinner with friends.
Pure Charge&Go is ideal for active people, regardless of their age or activities. Whether you travel, attend conferences, or play winter sports, it might provide the features you need to enjoy your life!