(BPT) - Who wants to change a dead battery in the middle of winter? The idea leaves most people with the chills. Now imagine that battery the size of one that fits into a hearing aid.

Winter is the season of cold weather, the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and other conditions that pose a threat to people wearing hearing aids. Extreme cold, dry indoor air, sweat and the occasional splash of slush water threaten the device's tiny electronic components.

Carrying extra batteries and worrying about the last time you changed them is a chore. Now, imagine changing them with gloves on or with frozen hands.

Staying connected and hearing your best in any winter environment wasn't always possible. Fortunately, hearing aid technology has come a long way, and the latest advances mean hearing aids can now be worn with ease during the winter.

'The purpose of hearing aids is to connect people who are hard of hearing to their world of sound,' said Bill Dickinson, audiologist and vice president of audiology at Phonak. 'That shouldn't be limited by the season of the year, connectivity to technology or sound quality.'

As hearing aid technology advances, doors of opportunity to more sound environments are opened for the hearing aid wearer. New features to help hearing aid wearers take on the winter include:

Water resistant and dust proof

Various hearing aids have an IP68 rating, meaning they are water resistant and dust tight. A common cause of worn-out hearing aids is from water or dust damage. The IP68 rating prevents those factors from ruining the hearing aid and protects the wearer from damaging his or her hearing aids.

This feature can be especially helpful during the winter if, for example, you were to be hit by a surprise snowball outside, accidentally splashed with wet snow while shoveling the driveway, or hanging holiday decorations taken from a dusty attic.

Battery free

Winter is the ideal time to visit family and friends. There are many accessories that come with traveling with hearing aids, including a case, batteries, drying kit and cleaner. With rechargeable technology, traveling with hearing aids is simpler.

Your charger, cleaning tool and drying kit are combined into one charger case that can hold up to seven charges. You can save space and travel lighter with rechargeable technology.

Keep connected

Stay connected to your technology in your favorite winter spots. Talk on the phone while baking cookies, listen to your favorite music and easily answer a phone call with the click of a button. Hearing accessories make it easy to enjoy moments while staying connected to your devices through your hearing aids.

Be adaptable

Winter can lead the hearing aid wearer to a variety of listening environments. It is the season of snowy activities, such as skiing, building snowmen with the kids and ice skating, or it could be a combination of transitioning from inside to outside, like going to a party or the gym.

It is important that wearers can hear quality sound regardless of where they are. Hearing aids are equipped with automatic hearing technology that switches programs depending on the environment, allowing the hearing aid wearers to be adaptable to any environment they may find themselves in.

For more information on hearing aid technology, visit www.trybelong.com or find a licensed hearing care professional who has been specially trained in fitting the latest hearing aid technology.