Are Your Hearing Aids Getting Wrecked by Humidity?
There are many factors which can affect the electrical 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, more than likely you are missing the most common cause of water damage in hearing aids: humidity.
Irreversible damage is done by invisible moisture. It’s essential to educate yourself about why humidity damages hearing aids.
Let’s Talk About Humidity
Even though the word humidity is very common, what does it really 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. The larger the percentage, the wetter everything feels.
Humans cool down their body by sweating so that makes us very sensitive to humidity. When humidity levels are high our sweat will not evaporate as fast. 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 influence your hearing aids. When it’s too moist, the intricate electronics will accumulate condensation. When it’s too dry things become more brittle.
Hearing aids depend heavily on internal electronics to function. An advanced signal processing chip manages noise levels in a modern hearing aid. It’s what is behind elegant features like:
- Noise reduction
- Targeted listening programs
- Digital sound streaming
Moisture can accumulate within the hearing aid when humidity is high and damage that component. Batteries get wrecked and you get corrosion of elements inside of the case. It’s the same as dropping your hearing aid in a sink 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 place, but it does provide some protection against humidity and other weather-related concerns such as getting caught in an unexpected rainstorm or even sweat when you exercise.
When it’s very humid try to cut down on indoor water vapor by utilizing a dehumidifier. It’s an investment that will benefit you and your family in many ways and protect other electronic devices like that expensive TV you got for Christmas. 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. Moisture is eliminated by putting the hearing aids into the dehumidifier for a couple of hours. 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. 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. 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. 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.
- Find a safe place to store your hearing aids if headed for the pool or beach.
- When exercising wear a sweatband. It’s a good practice whether you wear your hearing aids when you workout or not. Sweat in your ears can cause problems later.
- Check surfaces before you put your hearing aid down. You don’t want to place it in a wet spot left by a glass or coffee cup.
Your hearing aids are a valuable asset, so treat them that way. 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.