There are many factors which can affect the electrical circuitry of your hearing aids. Hearing aids seem to self-destruct under severe moisture conditions. Taking that into consideration, humidity is a huge problem.
Permanent damage is done by invisible moisture. It’s important to educate yourself about why humidity damages hearing aids.
What is Humidity?
Despite the fact that the word humidity is very common, what does it really 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. When you can feel wetness in the air, that means the relative humidity is high.
Human beings are very sensitive to humidity because sweat is the most efficient way to cool the body. When you sweat it evaporates into the air, but that doesn’t happen as quickly when the humidity level is high. Moisture and electronics don’t mix well and that includes hearing aids.
In General Electronics Have a Hard Time Coping With Humid Weather
Strangely enough, electronic devices are not just sensitive to high humidity but low levels as well. When water vapor percentages are high condensation can accumulate on the delicate elements that make electronics function, and low humidity can lead to brittle core materials.
Hearing aids rely heavily on internal electronics to function. Newer digital hearing aids use a sophisticated audio processing chip to manage noise. Because of this, you get amazing features like:
- Noise reduction
- Targeted listening programs
- Digital sound streaming
Moisture can accumulate within the hearing aid when humidity is high and ruin that component. It can corrode elements inside the casing and ruin batteries as well. You might as well drop your hearing aid in a sink full of water, and the effect is the same.
If you are investing in hearing aids, try to find products that are water-resistant. This feature will give you some protection against humidity and wet weather, but you still can’t go swimming with them in.
If you live in a humid area, think about using a room or house dehumidifier to reduce water vapor inside. It’s an investment that will help you and your family in numerous ways and protect other electronic devices like that costly 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. However, protecting your hearing aid more completely will require additional thinking. You will need to take other steps at the same time.
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. You put the device in the dehumidifier for a couple of hours to eliminate moisture. There are also storage containers that dry hearing aids out each night as you sleep. In a pinch, you could use a bag of uncooked rice to remove 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. 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.
Thinking Beyond Humidity
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. 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.
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.