There are many factors which can affect the circuitry of your hearing aids. Hearing aids seem to self-destruct under severe moisture conditions. Taking that into consideration, humidity is a big problem.
Permanent damage is done by invisible moisture. It’s essential to educate yourself about why humidity damages hearing aids.
Even though the word humidity is very common, what does it actually mean? PBS describes 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 greater the percentage, the wetter everything feels.
Humans cool their body by sweating so that makes us very sensitive to humidity. When humidity levels are too high our sweat won’t evaporate as quickly. Electronics are also susceptible to humidity and that is why it has such a detrimental effect on hearing aids.
Why Electronics Have difficulty with Humidity
Strangely enough, electronic devices are not just sensitive to high humidity but low levels as well. When water vapor percentages are high condensation can collect on the intricate mechanisms that make electronics function, and low humidity can lead to brittle core materials.
Hearing aids depend heavily on internal electronics to work. A sophisticated audio processing chip manages noise levels in a newer hearing aid. Because of this, you get awesome features like:
- Noise reduction
- Targeted listening programs
- Digital sound streaming
High humidity causes moisture to collect in the hearing aids destroying that chip. Batteries get wrecked and you get corrosion of elements inside of the case. It’s the same as throwing your hearing aid in a pool of water.
How to Control Humidity
Water resistant models are currently available. This feature will give you some protection from humidity and wet weather, but you still can’t go swimming with them in.
When it’s very humid try to cut down on 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. Dehumidifiers reduce the risk of mold, mildew and dust mites, so everyone breathes a little better, too. However, protecting your hearing aid more completely will require additional thinking. You will need to take other steps at the same time.
Consider buying a dehumidifier designed especially 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. 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.
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. 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.
Other Moisture Issues
Damage can be caused by other types of wetness. Take precautions to protect them from other kinds of wet such as:
- 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.
- 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.