There are many factors which can affect the circuitry of your hearing aids. Hearing aids seem to self-destruct under severe moisture conditions. Even if you already know that and take care to protect your investment from the shower, pool, or a good face washing, chances are you are missing the most common reason for water damage in hearing aids: humidity.
Irreversible damage is done by invisible moisture. It’s time to understand more about why humidity is a damaging thing for hearing aids.
Despite the fact that the word humidity is very common, what does it really 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 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 high our sweat will not evaporate as fast. Electronics are also susceptible to humidity and that is why it has such a detrimental effect on hearing aids.
In General Electronics Have a Hard Time Dealing With Humid Weather
Strangely enough, electronic devices are not only sensitive to high humidity but low levels as well. When water vapor percentages are high condensation can collect on the delicate mechanisms that make electronics work, and low humidity can lead to brittle core materials.
Hearing aids rely heavily on internal electronics to function. Modern digital hearing aids use a state-of-the-art 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. It can corrode elements inside the casing and ruin batteries as well. You might as well drop your hearing aid in a sink full of water, and the effect is the same.
Keeping Humidity Under Control
Water resistant models are currently available. This feature will give you some protection from humidity and bad weather, but you still can’t go swimming with them in.
When it’s very humid try to decrease indoor water vapor by using 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. 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. There is one out there for every budget. 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. There are also storage containers that dry hearing aids out each night as you sleep. 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.
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:
- Don’t touch your hearing aids with hands that are still moist from lotion.
- Leave your hearing aids in a safe place before you go swimming.
- 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.
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.