There are many factors which can affect the circuitry of your hearing aids. In fact, you could call moisture kryptonite for hearing aids. Taking that into consideration, humidity is a huge problem.
Permanent damage is done by moisture that you can’t see. It’s important to educate yourself about why humidity damages hearing aids.
Even though the word humidity is very common, what does it actually mean? PBS describes humidity as water molecules in the air. When displayed 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 greater the percentage, the wetter everything feels.
Humans cool their body by sweating so that makes us very sensitive to humidity. When humidity levels are too high our sweat won’t evaporate as quickly. 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 affect your hearing aids. When water vapor percentages are high condensation can accumulate on the intricate elements that make electronics work, and low humidity can result in brittle core materials.
Internal electronics are the reason your hearing aids work. Newer digital hearing aids use a sophisticated 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 collect inside the hearing aids damaging that chip. It can corrode elements inside the casing and destroy batteries as well. It’s the equivalent of dropping your hearing aid in a tub of water.
Keeping Humidity Under Control
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.
If you live in a humid area, consider using a room or house dehumidifier to lessen water vapor inside. It’s not just your hearing aid that will benefit, there are health benefits, and other electronics in the home will also be protected. Dehumidifiers reduce the risk of mold, mildew and dust mites, so everyone breathes a little better, too. Although a house or room dehumidifier will help protect your hearing aids, it’s not enough. 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. You put the device in the dehumidifier for a couple of hours to eliminate moisture. 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. 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.
A cool dry place is the ideal for storage. On the table in the sun, in the glove compartment, or in a hot room are examples of where not to store your hearing aids.
Other Moisture Concerns
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. 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.