Summer is practically synonymous with fun in the sun, but summer isn’t the “friendliest” time of year if you wear hearing aids. In fact, heat and moisture can keep your hearing aids from functioning their best. Here are a few tips to help you take care of your hearing aids so you don’t miss any of the action this summer.
- Keep your hearing aids dry. Summer, especially in Missouri and Kansas, is a naturally hot and humid time of year. That means when we go outside, we often sweat more. Any form of moisture, even sweat, can be damaging to hearing aids, but one of the best ways to keep your hearing aids dry and performing well is to use a dehumidifier. These devices can range from simple jars equipped with desiccant pellets to more sophisticated electronic dryers with UV disinfecting features. Getting into the habit of using a dehumidifier every night can be a great way to remove moisture quickly and efficiently from your hearing aids when you aren’t wearing them.
- Watch for wax. With summer moisture and humidity, some people produce more ear wax than usual. Be sure to keep your ear canals clean and as wax free as possible to help your hearing aids function at peak performance.
- Keep ‘em clean! Whether you’re at the beach, the lake or the pool, sand, dust and grit can get in your hearing aids, causing problems. Be sure to wipe your hearing aids, earmolds and domes down when you return from a day of fun in the sun. If necessary, use a small bristle brush to ensure all particles are removed.
- Think before you jump. Some hearing aids may be water resistant, but they are NOT waterproof. That’s why it’s important to remove your hearing aids before jumping into a pool, lake, or other body of water. Every summer, many hearing aids are ruined when someone takes a plunge in the pool with them on, so to be sure to keep them safe. Take them out and leave them at home, or put them in a pouch, container or a plastic bag for safekeeping before you take a dip.
- Wear your sunscreen and insect repellent, but … be careful. Sunscreens and insect repellents are slick and oily and can easily get on or in your hearing aids if you are wearing them when applying these products. To avoid a problem, be sure you put your sunscreen or insect repellent on before you put your hearing aids in. This reduces the chances of getting these products on the microphones or in the battery compartment.
- Beat the heat! Extreme temperatures can actually damage hearing aids. Don’t leave your hearing aids sitting in direct sunlight or in high temperatures, like on the dash of your car. High temperatures also can destroy batteries. It’s best to store your hearing aids in a cool, dry place when they aren’t in use, and be sure to wear a hat when outside to protect your hearing aids and your ears from the sun.
- Act fast if your hearing aids do get soaked! As soon as you realize you’ve gotten your hearing aids wet, dry them off with a clean cloth. If your hearing aids use disposable batteries, open the doors and remove them so the chambers can dry out. Throw the wet batteries away, and place your hearing aids in a hearing aid dehumidifier. Or, if you don’t have a dehumidifier, you can try to dry them out for 24-48 hours in a bowl of uncooked rice. DON’T put them in the oven, microwave or use a blow dryer on them. High temperatures can cause even more damage. If your hearing aids still aren’t working, contact your audiologist for assessment and possible repairs or replacement.
Associated Audiologists offers urgent hearing aid repairs and same-day service whenever possible at all of our eight clinics just for circumstances such as these. We also offer curbside care and drop boxes for the convenience of our patients.