Whether you love them or hate them, humid summer days are on their way. As great as humidity may seem in comparison to those bitter winds of winter, the moisture in the air can wreak havoc on technology such as your hearing aids. Here are a few things you can do to make sure your hearing aids function in tip top shape through the summer months:
Prepare for the elements
If you plan to be outside for an extended period of time with limited indoor options, like a trip to the beach or the zoo, be sure to check the weather. If there's even a slight chance of rain, bring an umbrella or rain hat so you can protect your hearing aids from water.
Protect them from sweat
Perspiration can be just as damaging to hearing aids as water is. While the typical perspiration from hot weather probably won't be of any harm to your hearing aids, excessive sweating, like you might experience when you're being physically active, may be enough to damage them. If you're exercising at home, consider taking your hearing aids out and putting them back in when you finish. However, if you're exercising outdoors – like going for a run, you'll need them to hear other people or cars. Consider keeping your outdoor workouts light, or exercising during the cooler parts of the day like early morning or later in the evening, so you can protect your hearing aids and stay safe.
When you're out in humid weather
In some climates, the air is wet even if it isn't raining. While this isn't as hazardous for hearing aids as being submerged in water, extended periods of time in this environment can cause water damage. Carry around a pack of cotton swabs to regularly wipe down your hearing aids so moisture won't build up. If you live in a humid climate, consider investing in a dehumidifier to help dry your hearing aids overnight. If you're vacationing in a humid area, take the batteries out and leave the hearing aids open overnight so they dry.
Invest in some handy products
While hearing aid accessories aren't a necessity, they can be incredibly convenient if you live in a humid climate. Hearing aid dryers and dehumidifiers can be very useful, as are drying kits. For more cost-effective options, you can also invest in a headband to keep moisture from getting inside your hearing aid, or purchase a small nylon sleeve that slips right over your hearing aid to protect it from moisture. These protect your hearing aids from getting wet, rather than fix the problem after the damage is already done.
If your hearing aids do get wet
Sometimes, accidents happen, and your hearing aids get wet. If this is the case, it's important to take the proper steps when attempting to save them. Do not use a hair dryer, clothes dryer or any other sort of device to try to dry them out. This can do even more damage than the original moisture did. If you get your hearing aid wet, quickly remove the battery and leave the aids open to dry out for a few hours. If you have a hearing aid dryer, put them in it as soon as possible. If not, consider putting them in a plastic bag filled with uncooked rice. The rice can soak up some of the moisture.
"Quickly remove the battery if your hearing aid gets wet."
How do you know if my hearing aid has been damaged?
A little bit of moisture doesn't necessarily mean that you need to get a new set of hearing aids. However, there are a few indicators that your hearing aid has sustained some damage, according to Healthy Hearing. If you've given your hearing aids ample time to dry and replaced the battery and still experience any of the following, bring your hearing aids to your audiologist:
- Your hearing aids cut out when noises are loud.
- They turn off and turn back on or sounds fade.
- Your hear a lot of static.
- Sounds you hear are distorted.