What you should know about protecting your hearing aids.
After a long cold winter, we might welcome the warm temperatures but for hearing aids, summer is no picnic. The arrival of warm weather brings special concerns that require changes in how you care for your hearing aids.
Moisture and condensation don’t take a vacation when it comes to the change of seasons. In fact, for a number of reasons, the risk of exposure to moisture increases in the warmer months. And moisture isn’t the only problem; summer also brings a whole host of other challenges for hearing aids that usually aren’t an issue in the winter.
Moisture that affects your hearing aids can come from many different sources.
Perspiration: Outdoor activity in summer heat means perspiration. The warm weather draws people outdoors. Activities like golf, tennis, gardening or even attending a barbeque on a hot day mean perspiration that leads to moisture build-up in your hearing aids. Moisture can damage microphones and receivers and even lead to corrosion of battery contact points.
Humidity: Those of us living in the south are familiar with humidity in the summer! I am sure we have all heard someone say, “it’s not the heat… it’s the humidity that is so bad”! Humidity can wreak havoc on hearing aids just like perspiration can, due to the moisture build-up.
Pools: Millions of people cool off in pools in the summertime, and odds are you will be one of them. Your time spent poolside gives you another level of hearing aid care to consider. Avoid selecting a chair close to a diving board or in another area where you are likely to be splashed, and you shouldn’t swim with hearing aids. Instead, keep your hearing aids stored safely in waterproof containers while at the pool.
Salt water: If you are heading to the ocean this summer for relaxation, sailing or water skiing, avoid exposing your hearing aids to salt water. When salt water dries, it leaves behind crystals that can permanently damage hearing aids. Either leave your hearing aids behind or consider special cleaning steps after you have been out on the beach near the salt water.
Whether your hearing aids are accidentally exposed to water or just have normal condensation build-up, it is more important than ever to use a dry-aid kit overnight to remove moisture. Your local Beltone office offers several options from an overnight Drying kit to the premier level Perfect Dry-Lux kit to help you remove any moisture that may build up in your hearing aids.
Debris that can damage your hearing aids also has many sources.
Sand: Summer care should also include preventing sand from entering hearing aids. Summer brings opportunity for trips to the beach, but be careful, because sand can clog the microphone and tubing, leading to permanent damage. Avoid touching your hearing aids if your hands are sandy and give them special cleaning attention once you are out of the sand.
Sprays: Sunscreen and bug sprays can clog your hearing aids’ microphone ports, so it is best to remove your hearing aids before spraying. Clean your hearing aids thoroughly with the tools provided by your hearing care professional if you accidentally spray them with sunscreen or bug spray.
Allergens: The allergens associated with warm weather present yet another challenge for hearing aid wearers. And yes, unfortunately even if you don’t suffer from seasonal allergies, you need to take them into account. Pollen, tiny cells needed to fertilize plants, float in the air and clog microphone ports. Other common summer allergens include mold, which reaches its peak in July, and ragweed, which peaks in August. Both can clog microphone ports and cause hearing aids to malfunction, but proper cleaning can alleviate the problem.
There are several products available from your local Beltone office that can help remove any debris build up that happens with your hearing aids, such as a simple wipe for the outside or a special system that sanitizes and dehumidifies your hearing instruments while you sleep!
In the summer months, heat can be a special concern.
Hearing aids left exposed to sunlight are susceptible to damage. Made of plastic, hearing aid casings can melt if left for too long in direct sunlight. If you remove your hearing aids while outdoors, store them in the shade. Also avoid leaving your hearing aids in the car. While in the wintertime the only consequence may be shortened battery life, in hot weather, temperatures in a car can soar as high as 150 degrees causing serious damage to both the casings and the batteries.
Summer fun doesn’t have to damage your hearing aids. Just remember, with just a little extra care and attention you can enjoy your summer and keep your hearing aids in tip-top shape.
Contact our offices at 800-581-5082 to inquire about the special products we offer to help remove moisture and debris from your hearing aids especially during these summer months.
Also make sure you have one of our practitioners professionally clean and check your hearing aids every 3 to 4 months, no matter what the season.
This extra attention can help protect your investment and extend the life of your hearing aids!
*adapted from Healthy Hearing