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Seasonal Risks to Hearing Aids


February 29, 2016

If you live in a temperate climate where there is little temperature variation from season to season, you may not notice much sound quality variation with your hearing aid. If you live in a climate like Denver where seasonal temperatures and precipitation vary a great deal, the loss of quality may be more pronounced. If a hearing change comes on very suddenly or if there is associated pain, you may want to consult your doctor or audiologist for a hearing test to ensure that there are no serious issues.

Winter Hazards
  • Spring is just around the corner and we hate to bring up a sore subject, but March tends to bring a lot of snow to the Rocky Mountain region. On the chilly, blustery days of March it is important to keep your ears covered when you go out. Cold air and moisture can cause exostosis, which are bone growths that form within your ear. These growths put pressure on blood vessels and nerves causing discomfort, especially if your hearing aids are the inner ear variety.
  • People who wear glasses are keenly aware that when you come in to a warm room from the cold outside,  condensation is likely to form. The same thing can happen with your hearing aid if your ears are uncovered. Moisture is inherently damaging to electronics and hearing aids are no exception. It is also detrimental to your hearing aid batteries. If you find that your hearing aid has gotten wet from condensation, outside precipitation, or even from your own perspiration, take out the batteries immediately. You can also purchase a hearing aid drying kit or dehumidifier. Store your hearing aids in a dry place or preferably in a dehumidifier nightly. It’s also advisable to remove batteries nightly to ensure that they stay dry and free from corrosion.
Spring Time Concerns
  • As winter weather gives way to a milder spring, it is important to protect your hearing aids from those April showers. As winter’s frost subsides and nature begins to bloom, seasonal allergies can affect hearing and hearing devices as well. Can allergies cause hearing loss? Yes they certainly can. When allergens such as pollen are present in the air, the body reacts by producing antibodies to combat them thereby eliciting a histamine response. This response often causes sinus congestion from an excess of mucus production. This excess fluid can collect in ear passages causing pressure, pain, and ultimately some temporary hearing loss. Excess moisture may become trapped in the inner ear leading to infections and as we have already discussed, moisture can be dangerous for hearing aids.
  • Pollen is a particulate, though it is not generally visible to the naked eye. It is possible for these particulates to become clogged in the microphone ports of your hearing device causing malfunction or a decrease in effectiveness. Microphone ports are easily replaceable and we offer our customers instructions on the best methods for hearing aid cleaning and maintenance. Proper cleaning and care is always important but especially during the spring when it is windy and there are lots of particulates in the air.

Luckily any hearing loss caused by seasonal allergies is temporary and can usually be treated with over the counter medication. If you have any concerns or questions about how to most effectively care for your hearing aids, or if you wish to get more information about how to schedule your audiogram, call us today at 720-660-8960.