There are a lot of different things that can damage the delicate technology that makes a hearing aid function the way it does, but not many have the impact of water. In fact, you could call moisture kryptonite for hearing aids. Taking that into consideration, humidity is a big problem.
Irreversible damage is done by invisible moisture. It’s time to understand more about why humidity is a negative thing for 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. The relative humidity refers to the ratio of water molecules in the air compared to how many the air can actually hold. When you can feel wetness in the air, that means the relative humidity is high.
Humans cool down their body by sweating so that makes us very sensitive to humidity. When humidity levels are high our sweat won’t evaporate as fast. Moisture and electronics don’t mix well and that includes hearing aids.
Understand Humidities Effect on Hearing Aids
Too high or, too low, humidity can impact 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 signal processing chip to control noise. It’s what is behind elegant functions like:
- Noise reduction
- Targeted listening programs
- Digital sound streaming
Moisture can collect inside the hearing aid when humidity is high and damage that component. It can corrode elements inside the casing and ruin batteries as well. You might as well throw your hearing aid in a tub full of water, and the effect is the same.
How to Get A Handle On Humidity
Water resistant models are currently available. 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 reduce indoor water vapor by utilizing a dehumidifier. It’s an investment that will help you and your family in many 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. 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. Drying kits rely on silica gel crystals to protect the 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.
Get in the habit of opening the battery compartment every time you store your hearing aids. 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. 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.
Thinking Beyond Humidity
Damage can be caused by other types of wetness. Take precautions to protect them from other kinds of wet such as:
- Don’t touch your hearing aids with hands that are still moist from lotion.
- Find a safe place to store your hearing aids if headed for the pool or beach.
- Wear a sweatband when exercising. It’s a good practice whether you wear your hearing aids when you workout or not. Later that sweat will cause problems.
- 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. 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.