The summer months generally mean longer nights and – if we’re lucky – hotter temperatures and lots of time outdoors! All that time in the sun might be good for replenishing your Vitamin D levels and topping up a tan, but if you wear hearing aids, there are a few things you should know about how heat and moisture can affect your hearing devices.
Whether it’s a summer shower or a humid day, moisture and humidity can wreak havoc on hearing devices. Too much moisture can kill batteries, corrode components and even short the electronics!
Moisture usually builds up over time and condenses inside hearing instruments. This can make the diameter of the hearing device slightly smaller, which in turn can change the quality of the sound or increase pitch.
So, how can you avoid moisture and humidity this summer? Here are some useful tips for caring for your hearing aids this summer.
It may sound silly, but we all know the weather in Scotland is unpredictable and usually pretty drizzly, at the best of times. That’s why it’s all the more important to be prepared before you walk out the front door.
If it’s going to rain, an umbrella might not cut it – inverted brollies are pretty common when it’s windy outside! You may find it useful to invest in a rain hat, which can protect hearing devices from water when it’s wet outdoors.
When you’re not wearing your hearing instruments, they should always be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. Be sure to avoid leaving your hearing aids out on a chest of drawers that gets a lot of sun, or on the dashboard of your car. Even a glove compartment can get pretty sweaty on a hot summer’s day!
The best place to store your hearing devices is in a dehumidifier. Standard pharmacies sell a range of options, from plastic storage units with silica gel to proper electrical devices. You can pop your hearing aids into a dehumidifier before you go to sleep, and allow it to absorb the moisture that’s built up. You can also open the battery door to allow any accumulated moisture to escape.
It’s easy, in the heat of the moment, to forget you’re wearing your hearing devices. Jumping into a pool with hearing aids is an easier mistake to make than you might think! One way to remind yourself to remove your hearing instruments is to bring along a brightly coloured storage container, and place it in plain sight, so you remember to take them off – or just leave them at home, especially if you’re opting for the seaside rather than the pool!
On a related note, if you’re going to be in the sun for a while, you’re likely going to be slathering on the sun cream. Be sure to rub your sun cream in completely before you put your hearing aids in, as the oils can seep into the device!
Stuff happens. Whether it’s jumping in a pool headfirst, getting stuck in a storm or forgetting to take out your hearing aids before getting into the shower, it’s good to know what to do if you hearing instruments get wet.
First, turn off your hearing aids immediately, and remove the battery. It is recommended to use either a towel to gently dry the device, or a special hearing aid dryer, if you have one.
Using a hair dryer can damage the hearing aids further due to the intense heat, so if you feel compelled to use a hair dryer, make sure it’s on the coolest setting!
It’s also important to use a dehumidifier if your hearing instruments get wet. Place your hearing aids in the dehumidifier, and keep them in there for at least a few hours. Even if it seems to be working, allow all of the moisture to evaporate by leaving them in a little longer than you may think is necessary!
In a pinch, you can place your hearing aids in a bag of uncooked rice, which can provide a back up to a dehumidifier if you don’t have one to hand.
If you try all of these steps and your hearing instruments still aren’t working, please contact our team to schedule an appointment.
Although there are a lot of tips about how to maintain your hearing aids over the hot summer months, they are all fairly straightforward. The most important thing is to simply remember to actually maintain your hearing devices – whilst enjoying the summer!
With a few small adjustments, and an awareness of your hearing instruments, you can easily enjoy all the opportunities summer brings – and not have to worry about straining to hear a conversation.
House of Hearing offers hearing care at four centres in Edinburgh, Galashiels, Perth, and St Andrews. Call us on 0131 220 1220 for more information.