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.
Permanent damage is done by invisible moisture. It’s essential to educate yourself about why humidity harms hearing aids.
Despite the fact that the word humidity is very common, what does it actually 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. When you can feel wetness in the air, that means the relative humidity is high.
Humans cool down their body by sweating so that makes us very sensitive to humidity. 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.
Understand Humidities Effect on Hearing Aids
Oddly enough, electronic devices are not only sensitive to high humidity but low levels as well. When water vapor percentages are high condensation can collect on the intricate mechanisms that make electronic devices work, 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
High humidity causes moisture to collect inside the hearing aids damaging that chip. Batteries get destroyed and you get corrosion of elements inside of the case. You might as well drop your hearing aid in a sink full of water, and the effect is the same.
How to Manage Humidity
If you are investing in hearing aids, look for products that are water-resistant. This feature will give you some protection against humidity and wet weather, but you still can’t swim with them in.
If you live in an area prone to high humidity, consider getting a room or house dehumidifier to cut down on water vapor indoors. It’s an investment that will benefit you and your family in numerous 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.
Consider buying a dehumidifier designed especially for hearing aids. They come at all costs levels. Drying kits rely on silica gel crystals to protect the electronics. You put the device in the dehumidifier for a couple of hours to eliminate moisture. 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.
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. 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.
Other Moisture Factors
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.
- 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. 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. 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.