Summer brings warmer temperatures, more outside activities and higher relative humidity levels. This may spell fun for you but trouble for your hearing aids. Hearing aids are electronic devices and electronic devices are damaged by moisture. Because moisture is undesired when it comes to electronic devices, it’s important to understand hearing aids and humidity.

Temperature and hearing aids

The dew point is the temperature at which water leaves its gaseous state and begins to condense or form on solid surfaces. When you see dew in the morning, it is because the air temperature cooled and the air could no longer hold that water. So the water reverts to its liquid form. When the dew point is reached and water condenses; it condenses on any solid surface. That includes hearing aids.

Humidity and hearing aids

Humidity is the ratio of the amount of moisture in the air to the amount of moisture that the air is capable of holding at a given temperature. It’s a way to show the relationship between the dew point and the temperature.

What? The air’s ability to hold moisture changes with temperature. When the air temperature begins to change; the amount of moisture that the air can hold will change. Relative humidity is at 100 percent when the dew point is reached. When temperatures and relative humidity are both very high there is a lot of moisture in the air. That moisture can cause problems if you wear hearing aids.

Moisture and hearing aids

If you are outside and the dew point is reached or the relative humidity is high, you can get moisture in your hearing aids. That’s because the moisture in the air is condensing on the surfaces of your hearing aids. Also, when the humidity is high, it is difficult for sweat to evaporate. That sweat can get in your hearing aids and cause damage as well.

Moisture can cause your hearing aids to work intermittently or not at all. If the humidity is high enough to make you uncomfortable your hearing aids are probably feeling the impact too.

Protecting your hearing aids

If you are out and about when humidity levels are high, be sure to check your hearing aids for moisture damage.

Open the battery door and see if there is any discoloration. Check tubing for excess wax or moisture.

Use a drying device at night. There are boxes with silica compounds that act as desiccants. You can remove the batteries at night and place your hearing aids in the box. While you sleep, the desiccant will draw moisture out of the hearing aids and help them dry.

There are also electronic drying boxes. These boxes use a germidical lamp, airflow and heat lamps to dry out your hearing aids overnight. They require electricity and run on an eight-hour cycle. 

If you have questions about the best way to keep your hearing aids dry, visit the audiologist’s office. There you will find helpful advice and a variety of devices that help you combat humidity to keep your hearing aids dry.