There are many factors which can affect the circuitry of your hearing aids. In fact, you could call moisture kryptonite for hearing aids. Even if you already know that and take care to protect your investment from the shower, pool, or a good face washing, more than likely you are missing the most common reason for water damage in hearing aids: humidity.
Moisture that you can’t see has the greatest chance of causing permanent damage. It’s time to learn more about why humidity is a damaging thing for hearing aids.
Despite the fact that the word humidity is very common, what does it actually mean? PBS describes humidity as water molecules in the air. The relative humidity refers to the ratio of water molecules in the air compared to how many the air can actually 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 down the body. When you sweat it evaporates into the air, but that doesn’t happen as fast when the humidity level is very high. Electronics are also susceptible to humidity and that is why it has such a detrimental effect on hearing aids.
Why Hearing Aids Have difficulty with Humid Weather
Too high or, too low, humidity can influence your hearing aids. When it’s too moist, the intricate electronics will accumulate condensation. When it’s too dry things become more brittle.
Internal electronics are the reason your hearing aids work. An advanced signal processing chip controls noise levels in a modern hearing aid. Because of this, you get awesome features like:
- Noise reduction
- Targeted listening programs
- Digital sound streaming
High humidity causes moisture to collect inside the hearing aids destroying that chip. Batteries get wrecked and you get corrosion of elements inside of the case. It’s the same as dropping your hearing aid in a pool of water.
How to Manage Humidity
Water resistant models are currently available. Having this feature doesn’t mean you can swim with your hearing aids in place, but it does offer some protection from humidity and other weather-related issues like getting caught in an unexpected rainstorm or even sweat when you work out.
If you live in a humid area, think about using a room or house dehumidifier to lessen water vapor inside. It’s an investment that will benefit you and your family in numerous ways and protect other electronic devices like that costly TV you got for Christmas. Dehumidifiers reduce the risk of mold, mildew and dust mites, so everyone breathes a little better, too. However, protecting your hearing aid more completely will require additional thinking. You will need to take other steps at the same time.
Consider buying a dehumidifier designed especially 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. If it is very humid and you have no other way, uncooked rice can reduce moisture.
Don’t forget to leave the battery door open when you store your device. By pulling that door open before you put the hearing aid down, you expose the batteries and other elements to the air, allowing any condensation built up to evaporate naturally. Do this all year round, not just in the summer months.
A cool dry place is the ideal for storage. 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. 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.
- 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.
- Try not to put your hearing aid down on wet surfaces. A glass or coffee cup can leave moisture behind.
Your hearing aids are a valuable asset, so treat them that way. 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.