There are a lot of different things that can harm the delicate that makes a hearing aid work the way it does, but few have the impact of water. Hearing aids seem to self-destruct under severe moisture conditions. Taking that into consideration, humidity is a big problem.
Invisible moisture has the highest chance of causing irreparable damage. It’s time to learn more about why humidity is a bad thing for hearing aids.
What is Humidity?
Even though the word humidity is very common, what does it actually 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.
People are very sensitive to humidity because sweat is the most efficient way to cool the body. When you sweat it evaporates into the air, but that doesn’t happen as quickly when the humidity level is very high. Electronics are also susceptible to humidity and that is why it has such a detrimental effect on hearing aids.
As A General Rule Electronic Devices Have a Hard Time Coping With Humid Weather
Strangely enough, electronics are not only sensitive to high humidity but low levels as well. When water vapor percentages are high condensation can accumulate on the delicate elements that make electronics function, and low humidity can lead to brittle core materials.
Internal electronics are the reason your hearing aids work. A sophisticated audio processing chip controls noise levels in a newer hearing aid. Because of this, you get amazing features like:
- Noise reduction
- Targeted listening programs
- Digital sound streaming
Moisture can collect inside the hearing aid when humidity is high and ruin that component. It can corrode elements inside the casing and ruin batteries also. It’s the equivalent of throwing your hearing aid in a pool of water.
How to Get A Handle On Humidity
Water resistant models are currently on the market. This feature will give you some protection from humidity and wet weather, but you still can’t go swimming with them in.
When it’s very humid try to decrease 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 expensive 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. You will need to take other steps at the same time.
Consider buying a dehumidifier designed especially 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. 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.
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. 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.
Thinking Past 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:
- 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.
- Wear a sweatband when exercising. If you are wearing your hearing aid then it’s a good idea in general. Later that sweat will cause problems.
- Try not to put your hearing aid down on wet surfaces. A glass or coffee cup can leave moisture behind.
Treat your hearing like the valuable asset that it is. 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.