Dog jumping into water to demonstrate how hearing aids can get wet easily when you're having fun this summer because moisture damages hearing aids.

There are a lot of different things that can harm the delicate that makes a hearing aid work the way it does, but few have the impact of water. In fact, you could call moisture kryptonite for hearing aids. Even if you already know that and take care to protect your investment from the shower, pool, or a good face washing, chances are you are missing the most common reason for water damage in hearing aids: humidity.

Invisible moisture has the greatest chance of causing permanent damage. It’s time to learn more about why humidity is a negative thing for hearing aids.

What is Humidity?

Humidity is a word that gets bounced around a lot, especially during the summer months, but what is humidity? PBS defines 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. The greater the percentage, the wetter everything feels.

Humans are very sensitive to humidity because sweat is the most efficient way to cool down the body. When humidity levels are too high our sweat will not evaporate as quickly. 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 Humidity

Oddly enough, electronic devices are not only sensitive to high humidity but low levels as well. When it’s too moist, the intricate electronics will collect condensation. When it’s overly dry things become more brittle.

Internal electronics are the reason your hearing aids work. A sophisticated signal processing chip manages noise levels in a newer hearing aid. It’s what is behind elegant features like:

  • Noise reduction
  • Anti-feedback
  • Targeted listening programs
  • Digital sound streaming

Moisture can accumulate within the hearing aid when humidity is high and damage that component. It can corrode elements inside the casing and ruin batteries also. It’s the equivalent of dropping your hearing aid in a pool of water.

Keeping Humidity Under Control

Water resistant models are currently available. Having this feature doesn’t mean you can go swimming with your hearing aids in place, but it does give some protection from humidity and other weather-related issues like getting caught in an unforeseen rainstorm or even sweat when you exercise.

When it’s very humid try to cut down on indoor water vapor by using a dehumidifier. It’s not only your hearing aid that will benefit, there are health benefits, and other electronics in the home will also be protected. 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. Moisture is eliminated by putting the hearing aids into the dehumidifier for a couple of hours. Drying your hearing aids as you sleep at night can be done using specially designed storage containers. 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. Do this all year round, not just in the summer months.

A cool dry place is the ideal for storage. Avoid putting them in the glove compartment, in a hot room or on a table in the sun.

Thinking Beyond Humidity

Air vapor is not the only moisture that can damage hearing aids. 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.
  • Find a safe place to store your hearing aids if headed for the pool or beach.
  • When exercising wear a sweatband. It’s a good practice whether you wear your hearing aids when you workout or not. Later that sweat will cause problems.
  • 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.

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