There are a lot of different things that can ruin the delicate technology that makes a hearing aid function the way it does, but few have the impact of water. In fact, you could call moisture kryptonite for hearing aids. Taking that into consideration, humidity is a big problem.
Invisible moisture has the greatest chance of causing irreparable damage. It’s essential to educate yourself about why humidity damages hearing aids.
What is Humidity?
Even though the word humidity is very common, what does it actually mean? PBS defines humidity as water molecules in the air. When presented as a percentage, for example, the relative humidity is 40 percent today, it refers to the amount of water vapor in the air compared to what air could hold. The higher the percentage, the wetter everything feels.
Human beings are very sensitive to humidity because sweat is the most effective way to cool the body. When humidity levels are too high our sweat will not evaporate as fast. Electronics are also susceptible to humidity and that is why it has such a detrimental effect on hearing aids.
Understand Humidities Effect on Hearing Aids
Too high or, too low, humidity can influence your hearing aids. When it’s too damp, the delicate electronics will accumulate condensation. When it’s overly dry things become more brittle.
Internal electronics are the reason your hearing aids work. Modern digital hearing aids use a state-of-the-art audio processing chip to control noise. It’s what is behind elegant features like:
- Noise reduction
- Targeted listening programs
- Digital sound streaming
Moisture can accumulate in the hearing aid when humidity is high and damage that component. It can corrode elements inside the casing and ruin batteries also. It’s the same as dropping your hearing aid in a bathtub of water.
Dealing With Humidity
If you are looking at hearing aids, try to look for products that are water-resistant. This feature will give you some protection against humidity and bad weather, but you still can’t swim with them in.
When it’s very humid try to cut down on indoor water vapor by using a dehumidifier. It’s not only your hearing aid that will benefit, there are health benefits, and other electronics in your house will also be protected. Dust mites, mildew, and mold thrive in moist environments so a dehumidifier will improve the quality of breathing as well. However, protecting your hearing aid more completely will require additional thinking. There are a few other things you can and should do.
Look for the dehumidifier made for hearing aids. They come at all costs levels. Silica gel crystals in a drying kit are used to protect electronics. Moisture is eliminated by putting the hearing aids into the dehumidifier for a couple of hours. Drying your hearing aids as you sleep at night can be done using specially designed storage containers. In a pinch, you could use a bag of uncooked rice to remove moisture.
Don’t forget to leave the battery door open when you store your device. When you expose the battery and inner elements to air by leaving the door open, condensation can evaporate by itself. Don’t just do this in the summer, do it all year round.
Always store your hearing aids in a cool, dry place. Avoid putting them in the glove compartment, in a hot room or on a table in the sun.
Other Moisture Issues
Air vapor is not the only moisture that can damage hearing aids. Take precautions to protect them from other kinds of wet such as:
- Make sure all lotion or sunscreen is fully absorbed before touching your hearing aids or putting them in your ears.
- Leave your hearing aids in a safe place before you go swimming.
- When exercising wear a sweatband. If you are wearing your hearing aid then it’s a good idea in general. Later that sweat will cause problems.
- Check surfaces before you put your hearing aid down. A glass or coffee cup can leave moisture behind.
Treat your hearing like the valuable asset that it is. Consider how moisture and humidity can impact them and take steps to prevent water damage. If your hearing aid already has water damage make an appointment for service with a hearing aid specialist.