There are many factors which can affect the circuitry of your hearing aids. Hearing aids seem to self-destruct under severe moisture conditions. Taking that into consideration, humidity is a huge problem.
Permanent damage is done by invisible moisture. It’s important to educate yourself about why humidity harms hearing aids.
Humidity is a word that gets talked about a lot, commonly during the summer months, but what is humidity? 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. When you can feel wetness in the air, that means the relative humidity is high.
Humans are very sensitive to humidity because sweat is the most effective way to cool down the body. When you sweat it evaporates into the air, but that doesn’t happen as quickly when the humidity level is very high. Moisture and electronics don’t mix well and that includes hearing aids.
Typically Electronics Have a Hard Time Coping With Humid Weather
Too high or, too low, humidity can influence your hearing aids. When water vapor percentages are high condensation can accumulate on the delicate elements that make electronic devices work, and low humidity can result in brittle core materials.
Internal electronics are the reason your hearing aids work. Newer digital hearing aids use an advanced signal processing chip to manage noise. Because of this, you get awesome features like:
- Noise reduction
- Targeted listening programs
- Digital sound streaming
High humidity causes moisture to accumulate in the hearing aids destroying that chip. Batteries get wrecked and you get corrosion of elements inside of the case. It’s the equivalent of dropping your hearing aid in a tub of water.
Keeping Humidity Under Control
Water resistant models are currently available. Having this feature doesn’t mean you can go swimming with your hearing aids in place, but it does provide some protection against humidity and other weather-related concerns like getting caught in an unexpected rain storm or even sweat when you exercise.
When it’s very humid try to lessen 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.
Consider buying a dehumidifier designed especially for hearing aids. They come at all costs levels. Drying kits rely on silica gel crystals to protect the electronics. You put the device in the dehumidifier for a couple of hours to eliminate moisture. There are also storage containers that dry hearing aids out each night as you sleep. In a pinch, you could use a bag of uncooked rice to remove moisture.
Get in the habit of opening the battery compartment every time you store your hearing aids. 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 Factors
Damage can be caused by other types of wetness. Don’t forget to think about other types of wetness like:
- Make sure all lotion or sunscreen is fully absorbed before touching your hearing aids or putting them in your ears.
- Find a safe place to store your hearing aids if headed for the pool or beach.
- Wear a sweatband when exercising. If you are wearing your hearing aid then it’s a good idea in general. Sweat in your ears can cause problems later.
- Try not to put your hearing aid down on wet surfaces. You don’t want to place it in a wet spot left by a glass or coffee cup.
Your hearing aids are a valuable asset, so treat them that way. Keep in mind how moisture can damage your hearing aids and make sure to prevent water from getting in them. If your hearing aid already has water damage make an appointment for service with a hearing aid specialist.