Here’s What to “Dew” About It
One of the pleasures of starting your better-hearing journey is that your world is more enjoyable when you can hear the sounds you’ve been missing.
That might also mean you’re getting outside more, possibly exposing your hearing devices to humidity. Let’s unpack how humidity might affect your hearing devices and what you can do about it.
What Is Humidity?
Humidity is a measure of the amount of water vapor in the air. Hot air can hold a lot of water vapor, but cold air cannot. When hot air meets cold air, the drop in temperature means a drop in how much water vapor the air can hold.
Consider a cold can of soda pop: When humid air makes contact with the can, the air temperature around it quickly drops. Any water vapor from the humid air that can’t fit in the cold air around the can must go somewhere. That’s when condensation occurs, creating water droplets on the side of the can.
How Does Humidity Affect My Hearing Devices?
Humidity affects hearing aids in a couple of ways:
- First, as with condensation on that soda pop can, moisture results when warm, humid air meets the cooler metal components of your hearing devices. This includes the components inside the devices.
- Second, humidity makes you sweat — and also makes it harder for the sweat to evaporate. Plenty of that ends up in or on your devices.
But What’s the Big Deal?
Moisture from the condensation and perspiration can clog your hearing devices’ ports and openings. It also builds up in tubing, which can affect your technology’s frequency response. Plus, it can corrode components and battery contact points or short-circuit the microphones and receivers.
In short, moisture is like kryptonite to your hearing aids. A little exposure won’t matter all that much, but prolonged exposure will do a lot of damage and affect the performance of your devices.
How Can I Spot Potential Moisture Damage?
Common signs of moisture damage include:
- Sound is full of static or crackling
- Sound is distorted
- Sound cuts out during loud noises
- Sound fades in and out
- Device works intermittently
- There’s battery corrosion
What Can I Do About It?
If you suspect moisture damage, do a general check first to make sure it’s not something easily solved:
- Is the device turned on?
- How are the filters and ports?
- Do the battery contacts need to be cleaned or dried?
- Are the batteries in correctly or near the end of their life?
- Is the tubing intact, and can you see any water droplets?
If all else checks out, it could be a moisture problem. If you have in-the-ear technology, place it in your drying device immediately — with the battery door open and the battery removed.
If you have behind-the-ear technology, check the earmold tubing for moisture. If possible, use an earmold puffer to remove the moisture. Then put your technology in your drying device ASAP, with the battery door open and the battery removed.
Leave the devices in the dryer for a few hours, even if they look dry.
With a little TLC and vigilance, you can help protect your hearing aids from moisture and keep them working their best. It’s also important to bring them in periodically for a professional clean and check. If it’s been a while since their last check or they don’t seem to be operating their best, don’t wait. Schedule an appointment with our caring team today!