How Humidity Affects Your Hearing Aids

hearing aids being examined under magnifying glass

Several elements like moisture can damage the delicate technology of hearing aids. Apart from diving into a pool or being caught in the rain, your hearing aids could accumulate moisture through weather conditions – the warm, humid summer months, to be specific. This article provides vital information on how humidity affects your hearing aids and ways to address it.

What Is Humidity?

Humidity is the concentration of water vapor in the air. It measures the amount of water the air can hold at a given temperature. Therefore, the higher the temperature, the more water vapor the air can hold and the more humid it would be.  

Humidity and Hearing Aids

Anytime you go out on a hot day, you are most likely exposing your hearing aids to a significant amount of moisture. This is because high percentages of water vapor in the air cause the water particles to condense your hearing aids. However, this is also the case when humidity levels are low. Where there is a low concentration of water vapor in the air, the core elements of your hearing aids technology are subjected to becoming brittle. 

Hearing aids are sophisticated devices that rely on complex internal electronics to function. For example, the advanced audio processing chip manages the noise level in hearing aids. It also provides other functions such as anti-feedback, digital sound streaming and targeted listening programs. Unfortunately, an accumulation of moisture can damage this component of your hearing aid, causing it to work intermittently or not at all. 

Protecting Your Hearing Aids from Humidity

Since humidity is a natural phenomenon that you cannot control, it may seem challenging to protect your hearing aids from its effects. However, there are simple and effective ways of doing so. Here are a few:

  • It would help if you considered switching to waterproof hearing aids. These hearing aids don’t only give you the freedom to take a swim. Waterproof hearing aids are designed to offer protection from other forms of moisture such as humidity, sweat and rain.
  • If you do not have a waterproof hearing aid, you must check your hearing aids for moisture damage. You do this by opening the battery door to check for discoloration. Be sure to close it soon after inspection as leaving it would only allow water to condense and cause further problems. Also, check the tubing for excess wax or moisture.
  • When indoors, you can reduce humidity by using a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers are an excellent choice in trying to reduce the amount of water vapor in the air. This prevents your hearing aids from coming into contact with moisture and also reduces the risks of dust mites, mold and mildew in the home.
  • It would be best if you considered getting a drying device for your hearing aids. These are boxes lined with silica compounds that act as desiccants. Before you go to bed at night, take out the batteries and place your hearing aids in the box. During the hours you sleep, these compounds would draw out any moisture in your hearing aids.
  • Electronic drying boxes are also an excellent choice. These devices act as a dehumidifier for your hearing aid. Using a germicidal lamp and airflow and heat lamps, these boxes dry out your hearing aids overnight. These drying boxes require electricity and run on an eight-hour cycle. 
  • Be sure to store your hearing aids in a cool, dry place. For example, do not store your hearing aids directly under the sun, in the glove compartment of your car or a hot room.

However, it is advisable to visit your audiologist for expert advice on how to combat the effects of humidity on your hearing aids despite these precautions.

Other Moisture Precautions

Humidity is not the only form of moisture that can damage your hearing aids. Therefore, it is essential to take other precautions. Here are a few measures you can take to prevent moisture from damaging your hearing aids:

  • After applying lotion, cream or sunscreen, be sure that these have been completely absorbed before you proceed to touch hearing aids. To be on the safer side, wipe your hands dry after applying these items before touching your hearing aids.
  • Wear a sweatband when exercising.
  • Leave your hearing aids in a safe place before jumping into the shower or going into the pool.

If you would like to know about humidity and hearing aids, you should visit Flynn Associates. You can also call us today at (978) 235-6666 Concord and (781) 943-5040 Wellesley.