There are many factors which can affect the electrical circuitry of your hearing aids. Hearing aids seem to self-destruct under severe moisture conditions. Taking that into consideration, humidity is a big problem.
Invisible moisture has the greatest chance of causing irreparable damage. It’s time to learn more about why humidity is a damaging thing for hearing aids.
Humidity is a word that gets talked about a lot, especially during the summer months, but what does it 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.
People 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.
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 collect on the delicate mechanisms that make electronic devices function, and low humidity can cause brittle core materials.
Internal electronics are the reason your hearing aids work. Newer digital hearing aids use a sophisticated signal processing chip to control noise. Because of this, you get awesome features like:
- Noise reduction
- Targeted listening programs
- Digital sound streaming
High humidity causes moisture to collect in the hearing aids damaging that chip. Batteries get destroyed and you get corrosion of elements inside of the case. You might as well throw your hearing aid in a tub full of water, and the effect is the same.
If you are looking at hearing aids, try to find products that are water-resistant. Having this feature doesn’t mean you can swim with your hearing aids in your ear, 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 exercise.
When it’s very humid try to minimize indoor water vapor by utilizing a dehumidifier. It’s an investment that will help 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. There are a few other things you can and should do.
Consider buying a dehumidifier designed especially for hearing aids. There is one out there for every budget. 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.
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. 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
Air vapor is not the only moisture that can damage hearing aids. 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.
- 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. 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.