There are many factors which can affect the electrical 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, more than likely you are missing the most common cause of water damage in hearing aids: humidity.
Invisible moisture has the highest chance of causing permanent damage. It’s important to educate yourself about why humidity damages 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. When presented 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. 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 high our sweat won’t evaporate as quickly. Moisture and electronics don’t mix well and that includes hearing aids.
In General Electronics Have a Hard Time Coping With Humid Weather
Too high or, too low, humidity can influence your hearing aids. When it’s too moist, the delicate electronics will accumulate condensation. When it’s too dry things become more brittle.
Hearing aids rely heavily on internal electronics to function. An advanced signal processing chip manages noise levels in a newer hearing aid. It’s what is behind elegant features like:
- Noise reduction
- Targeted listening programs
- Digital sound streaming
Moisture can collect within the hearing aid when humidity is high and harm that component. Batteries get destroyed and you get corrosion of elements inside of the case. It’s the equivalent of throwing your hearing aid in a tub of water.
Keeping Humidity Under Control
Water resistant models are currently on the market. Having this feature doesn’t mean you can swim with your hearing aids in your ear, but it does provide some protection against humidity and other weather-related issues like getting caught in an unexpected rainstorm or even sweat when you work out.
If you live in an area prone to high humidity, consider using a room or house dehumidifier to lessen water vapor indoors. It’s an investment that will help you and your family in many 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. 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. 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. 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. When you expose the battery and inner elements to air by leaving the door open, condensation can evaporate by itself. 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.
Thinking Beyond Humidity
Damage can be caused by other types of wetness. 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. 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.
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.