Dr. Emily Martinson, AuD, PhD
With winter here in full force, many of us are taking advantage of the snow and ice by planning ski and snowboard trips. Hitting the slopes is a fun family activity and a great way to stay active, with the added plus of fondue after. Several patients have asked me about wearing their hearing aids when on ski and snowboard trips, and so today I’d like to talk about whether this is a good idea.
When it is very snowy and icy, moisture from the air and the snow can get inside the hearing aid microphones and cause the hearing aid to not function at its best. Additionally, sweat is produced at a higher rate when you are exercising, such as on the ski slope, and sweat can also get inside the hearing aids. It is very important to put your hearing aids into a hearing aid dryer after hitting the slopes to minimize this.
Another possible concern on the ski slope is dropping your hearing aids and losing them, especially if they are white or silver in color. Make sure to check that your hearing aids are safely inside your snow hat or your helmet before getting on the ski lift.
Like any sport, skiing and snowboarding comes with the risk of falling and injury. If you or someone you are with is injured on the slopes, it’s very important that you have on your hearing aids for safety. Additionally, sometimes the staff at the slope or operating the ski lift has safety instructions, and it is critical that you hear them.
Lastly, since skiing and snowboarding is a social activity done with friends and family, hearing aids are important for communication both on the slopes and when chatting around the fire after a long day skiing.
Overall, there are risks and benefits to wearing your hearing aids when skiing and snowboarding. As long as you are careful and mindful of your devices, however, it should be no problem. Enjoy the fresh powder!