There are many factors which can affect the electrical circuitry of your hearing aids. In fact, you could call moisture kryptonite for hearing aids. Taking that into consideration, humidity is a huge problem.
Irreversible damage is done by invisible moisture. It’s time to understand more about why humidity is a negative thing for hearing aids.
Let’s Talk About Humidity
Humidity is a word that gets talked about a lot, especially during the summer months, but what does it 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. When you can feel wetness in the air, that means the relative humidity is high.
Humans are very sensitive to humidity because sweat is the most effective way to cool down the body. When you sweat it evaporates into the air, but that doesn’t happen as quickly when the humidity level is high. Electronics are also susceptible to humidity and that is why it has such a detrimental effect on hearing aids.
In General Electronics Have a Hard Time Dealing With Humid Weather
Too high or, too low, humidity can influence your hearing aids. When it’s too damp, the intricate electronics will accumulate condensation. When it’s too dry things become more brittle.
Hearing aids depend heavily on internal electronics to work. Modern digital hearing aids use a state-of-the-art signal processing chip to control noise. 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. You might as well throw your hearing aid in a sink full of water, and the effect is the same.
How to Manage Humidity
If you are looking at hearing aids, look for products that are water-resistant. This feature will give you some protection against humidity and bad weather, but you still can’t go swimming with them in.
When it’s very humid try to decrease indoor water vapor by using 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. 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. 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. When you expose the battery and inner elements to air by leaving the door open, condensation can evaporate by itself. Don’t just do this in the summer, do it all year round.
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. Don’t forget to think about other types of wetness like:
- Make sure all lotion or sunscreen is fully absorbed before touching your hearing aids or putting them in your ears.
- 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. Sweat in your ears can cause problems later.
- 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.