One of the leading threats to your hearing aids is moisture and humidity. These can be tough to battle during hot, humid months of summer, or if you tend to exercise and sweat.
Think about what happens when you take a cold pop can out of the refrigerator. Almost immediately, condensation forms on the outside of the can, and water drips onto the table. Similarly, when humid air hits the cooler electronic components of your hearing aid, it can produce excess moisture too. Unfortunately, a buildup of excess water in hearing aids can damage them beyond repair. That's where a hearing aid dehumidifier comes into play.
How Moisture Gets Into Your Hearing Aids
Excess water can enter your hearing aids in many ways. Clearly, your hearing aids will get wet if you wear them swimming or accidentally run them through the washing machine. In less obvious cases, natural water vapor in the air can get inside your hearing aids.
Here are some common ways moisture gets in hearing aids:
- Sweating during exercise
- Humidity in the environment
- Condensation from cold settings
- Getting caught in the rain
- Enjoying water sports
- Using a sauna or shower
- Spraying hair styling products
Some people are more frequently exposed to moisture-causing conditions. For example, someone living in a tropical state like Florida will have more humidity. Food service workers often walk in cold refrigerators or freezers, which can cause condensation.
Threats That Moisture Poses to Hearing Aids
You may not initially realize it, but moisture and humidity can be a hearing aid’s worst enemy. It can wreak havoc on the most sensitive and expensive parts of your hearing aid.
There are several threats that moisture poses to your hearing aids:
- Condensation – The inside and outside of your hearing aids are constantly exposed to air. When humid air touches the cooler electronic parts, the water vapor turns into water droplets. As you can imagine, water and electronics don’t play well together. Even the smallest amount of humidity could affect the sound quality of your hearing aids.
- Corrosion – Condensation that sits on electronic components can cause them to corrode over time. Rust can form on batteries and prevent your hearing aids from getting the energy they need to work properly. Corroded batteries can even swell, potentially damaging your hearing aids.
- Electrical Shortages – Pure water doesn’t conduct electricity, so it’s relatively harmless. However, the air we breathe is contaminated with dust and other particles. When these tiny particles touch electronic parts, they can conduct electricity and cause your hearing aids to short out.
- Complete Malfunction – If moisture isn’t removed, your hearing aids could stop working altogether. When this happens, you'll either have to pay for hefty repairs or purchase new hearing aids.
When possible, avoid exposing your hearing aids to high-humidity or wet environments. While taking a hot shower, place your hearing aids outside of the bathroom. When styling your hair, wait until you're done to put your hearing aids on. Use hearing aid "socks" or sweatbands when exercising. And so on...
Products That Help Remove Moisture in Hearing Aids
There are various hearing aid dehumidifiers specially designed to help you keep your hearing aids in good working order. Here’s a breakdown of products that can help, along with an explanation of how each works.
The Dehumidifier Jar is a small, inexpensive container with a desiccant (drying agent) lining that absorbs moisture and prevents harm to sensitive electronic parts. This container requires no batteries or electricity. Simply place your hearing aids in the dehumidifier jar before bed. When used daily, this affordable product helps remove moisture, prevent costly repairs, and extend the life of your hearing aids.
UV-Clean and Dry Box
The UV-Clean & Dry Box is a simple-to-use, compact device that sanitizes your hearing aids in addition to drying them. This product emits powerful ultraviolet (UV-C) light that kills harmful germs, bacteria, and viruses without harsh chemicals or expensive cleansers. It also uses gentle, dry heat to remove moisture, sweat, and condensation. This cleaning cycle only takes 2.5 to 5 hours, depending on which cycle setting you choose.
Tubing Air Blower
The Tubing Air Blower also helps to eliminate moisture, ear wax, and dirt that can become trapped in your tubing and migrate to your hearing aid. For best results, use this product weekly to blow out debris and dry the tubing.
Alternative Hearing Aid Dehumidifiers
If you don't have a hearing aid dehumidifier or run out of supplies, here's a temporary solution. You can use silica gel packets found in bottles of medications, new shoes, and electronics. They contain tiny beads of silicon dioxide (sand) that can absorb up to 40% of water. As a last resort, uncooked white rice is effective at removing water. These alternatives should only be used temporarily until you can get your hands on a dehumidifier.
Many hearing aid companies offer the option to purchase a protection plan to safeguard your investment. MDHearing’s Protection Plan Subscription provides coverage for all types of accidental damage, including water damage and corrosion. If your hearing aids can’t be fixed, then MDHearing will replace them.
Importance of Cleaning Hearing Aids Daily
While dehumidifiers can help protect your hearing aids, it’s still essential to have good daily cleaning habits. Because hearing aids are so small, it’s easy for them to get clogged by dirt, oils, and earwax. Keeping your hearing aids clean prevents these other threats from blocking sound or getting to the sensitive electronic parts.
If your hearing aids aren't clean and moisture-free, you may notice:
- Faded or distorted sound quality
- Static or crackling noises
- Sounds frequently cut in and out
- Hearing aids sometimes work and sometimes don’t
Maintaining your hearing aids is easy. Gently use a wire/brush cleaning tool set to remove dust, earwax, and other debris from the hearing aid buttons, microphones, tips, and tubing. The hearing aid body can also be cleaned with a soft, dry cloth. Do not use water, alcohol, or other liquids as they can damage the hearing aid.
Get Help With Your Hearing Aids
Keeping up with daily cleanings and moisture removal will help keep your hearing aids working properly for years to come. A hearing aid dehumidifier makes the process quick and effortless. Otherwise, you may have to spend money to get your hearing aids repaired or order a brand new pair.
At MDHearing, we strive to ensure that everyone benefits from high-quality hearings at an affordable price. That’s why we cut out the middleman and pass the savings to you. We offer a line of FDA-registered hearing aids designed for mild to moderately-severe hearing loss. Each hearing aid is backed by our 45-day risk-free trial period. You also have the option of purchasing inexpensive hearing aid care accessories and a protection plan subscription.
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