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, chances are you are missing the most common cause of water damage in hearing aids: humidity.
Irreversible damage is done by invisible moisture. It’s time to learn more about why humidity is a bad thing for hearing aids.
What is Humidity?
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. When you can feel wetness in the air, that means the relative humidity is high.
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 fast. Moisture and electronics don’t mix well and that includes hearing aids.
As A General Rule Electronic Devices Have a Hard Time Coping With Humidity
Too high or, too low, humidity can influence your hearing aids. When water vapor percentages are high condensation can collect on the intricate elements that make electronic devices function, and low humidity can lead to brittle core materials.
Hearing aids depend heavily on internal electronics to work. A sophisticated audio processing chip manages noise levels in a newer hearing aid. Because of this, you get awesome features like:
- Noise reduction
- Targeted listening programs
- Digital sound streaming
Moisture can collect in the hearing aid when humidity is high and damage that component. It can corrode elements inside the casing and ruin batteries as well. It’s the equivalent of dropping your hearing aid in a bathtub of water.
Keeping Humidity Under Control
If you are investing in hearing aids, look for products that are water-resistant. Having this feature doesn’t mean you can go swimming with your hearing aids in place, but it does offer some protection from humidity and other weather-related issues such as getting caught in an unexpected rainstorm or even sweat when you exercise.
If you live in a humid area, consider using a room or house dehumidifier to lessen water vapor inside. It’s not only your hearing aid that will benefit, there are health benefits, and other electronics in the home will also be protected. Dust mites, mildew, and mold thrive in moist environments so a dehumidifier will improve the quality of breathing as well. 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. 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. Drying your hearing aids as you sleep at night can be done using specially designed storage containers. In a pinch, you could use a bag of uncooked rice to remove 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. Do this all year round, not just in the summer months.
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. 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.
- 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.
- Check surfaces before you put your hearing aid down. A glass or coffee cup can leave moisture behind.
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.