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, 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 important to educate yourself about why humidity harms hearing aids.
What is Humidity?
Humidity is a word that gets talked about a lot, especially during the summer months, but what does it mean? PBS describes humidity as water molecules in the air. When displayed 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. The higher 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 too high our sweat will not evaporate as quickly. Moisture and electronics don’t mix well and that includes hearing aids.
As A General Rule Electronics Have a Hard Time Dealing With Humidity
Oddly enough, electronics are not just sensitive to high humidity but low levels as well. When water vapor percentages are high condensation can accumulate on the intricate elements that make electronic devices function, and low humidity can cause brittle core materials.
Hearing aids rely heavily on internal electronics to function. An advanced signal processing chip manages noise levels in a modern hearing aid. Because of this, you get amazing features like:
- Noise reduction
- Targeted listening programs
- Digital sound streaming
Moisture can accumulate in the hearing aid when humidity is high and harm that component. Batteries get wrecked and you get corrosion of elements inside of the case. You might as well drop your hearing aid in a pool full of water, and the effect is the same.
Keeping Humidity Under Control
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.
If you live in an area prone to high humidity, think about using a room or house dehumidifier to minimize water vapor indoors. 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. There are a few other things you can and should do.
Look for the dehumidifier made for hearing aids. They come at all costs levels. Silica gel crystals in a drying kit are used to protect 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. 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. Do this all year round, not just in the summer months.
A cool dry place is the ideal for storage. 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
Damage can be caused by other types of wetness. 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.
- 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.
- 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. 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.