To prevent hearing aid failure caused by excessive moisture, have you ever pondered getting a hearing aid dehumidifier? Consider this: just like condensation forms on a cold can when taken out of the refrigerator, humid air can also create excessive moisture on the cooler electronic components of your hearing aid. Protect your device with a hearing aid dehumidifier.

Unfortunately, an accumulation of surplus water in hearing aids can cause irreversible damage. The combination of humidity, water, and sweat can reduce battery life and deteriorate vital components. This is why it is crucial to periodically dry your hearing aids if you reside in a humid climate or right away if your device has been dropped in or otherwise soaked with water. This is where a hearing aid dehumidifier can come into play.

Dehumidifier Options:

There are various kinds of hearing aid dehumidifiers engineered to help you keep your hearing aids in good condition. Here are some examples of the different sorts you might encounter, along with a bit of information on how they work.

Dehumidifier Jars

Dehumidifier Jars are compact and cost-effective containers equipped with a desiccant lining designed to absorb moisture and safeguard delicate electronic components. Many dehumidifier jars have the appearance of ordinary plastic tubes with a lid, commonly referred to as a drying package. They are equipped with a desiccant that effectively absorbs moisture without impacting the functionality of the hearing aid itself. This concept is comparable to silica gel packets often found in the packaging of processed snacks. To utilize them, simply place your hearing aids in the dehumidifier, seal the lid, and leave them overnight.

A hearing aid dehumidifier jar typically operates without the need for batteries or electricity, providing a convenient and secure storage solution. These jars are affordable and have a lifespan of at least six months, and in some cases, up to two years. While they are ideal for daily use in maintaining moisture-free devices, their efficacy diminishes when the system has been submerged in water. In such situations, a powered device may prove more advantageous. Additionally, the drying capsule should be replaced approximately twice a year. It is worth noting that the drying capacity gradually diminishes over time, necessitating the timely acquisition of a new one.

Dryers

Dryers, unlike the aforementioned dehumidifier jars, typically make use of a dedicated power source and offer enhanced capabilities. Hearing aid drying machines depending on their particular make and design, can leverage a range of different techniques, sometimes combining multiple in a single device. Most usually, aimed at ensuring moisture removal and preservation of device functionality while sometimes also providing additional secondary benefits. Some of the possible methods used include:

  • UV: Utilizing UV light to eliminate bacterial or viral traces.
  • Forced-air: Incorporating a mini-fan to expedite the drying process of devices.
  • Heat: Employing heat to facilitate the drying of the hearing aid.
  • Desiccant: Relying on the same sort of dehumidifying agents also found in non-powered hearing aid dehumidifiers.

Electronic dryers for hearing aids commonly offer various supplementary features such as built-in disinfectants, deodorizers, and timers. Moreover, these devices typically demonstrate superior speed when compared to traditional non-powered dehumidifiers, with some models displaying the capability of completing a full drying cycle in as little as 30 minutes. With these advanced features, electronic dryers provide an efficient and convenient solution for maintaining the optimal condition of hearing aids.

Alternative Solutions

If you do not possess a hearing aid dehumidifier or are lacking supplies, there are temporary alternative measures you can employ. One option is to utilize silica gel packets commonly found in bottles of medications, new shoes, and electronics.

These packets contain small silicon dioxide beads (sand); they’re often capable of absorbing up to 40% of moisture present in an enclosed environment. As a last recourse, uncooked white rice can also potentially serve as an effective water remover. These alternatives, however, should only be used temporarily until you can get your hands on an actual hearing aid dehumidifier of some sort. 

Potential Consequences Of Moisture Exposure:

If you don’t already have a hearing aid dehumidifier device, it’s highly advisable to acquire one. After all, moisture and humidity can significantly damage the delicate and valuable components of your hearing aid. Avoid getting your hearing aids wet at all cost.

Moisture presents multiple risks to the functionality of hearing aids. These include:

  • Condensation: The constant exposure of hearing aids to air leads to the formation of water droplets when humid air makes contact with cooler electronic components. Water and electronics are not compatible, and even minimal humidity can impact the sound quality of hearing aids.
  • Corrosion: The presence of condensation on electronic components can result in corrosion over time. Rust may develop on batteries, hindering their ability to power hearing aids effectively. Corroded batteries may even expand, potentially causing damage to the hearing aids.
  • Electrical Shortages: Although pure water is not conductive, the air we breathe contains dust and particles. When these particles come into contact with electronic parts, they can conduct electricity, leading to short circuits in hearing aids.
  • Critical Malfunction: Failure to remove moisture may result in complete hearing aid malfunction. In such cases, costly repairs or replacement of hearing aids may be necessary.

It is crucial to monitor and mitigate moisture-related risks to ensure optimal performance and longevity of hearing aids.

The most common sources of moisture exposure:

As mentioned in previous sections, excessive moisture can infiltrate hearing aids through various means. It is evident that wearing them while swimming or accidentally exposing them to the washing machine can result in their saturation. In less apparent scenarios, natural water vapor present in the atmosphere can penetrate the devices.

Outlined below are some common avenues through which moisture can enter hearing aids:

  • Perspiration during physical activity
  • Environmental humidity
  • Condensation due to cold settings
  • Exposure to precipitation
  • Engaging in water sports
  • Utilizing saunas or showers
  • Application of hair styling products.

Certain individuals are exposed to moisture-causing conditions more frequently. For instance, residents of tropical states like Florida experience higher levels of humidity. Meanwhile, professionals like food service workers frequently navigate cold refrigerators or freezers, leading to the occurrence of condensation. Regardless of your location, it’s important to always take care of your hearing aids with proper maintenance.

Hearing Aid Dehumidifier Conclusion

If any of these conditions, activities, and or environmental hazards are frequently applicable to you, then a hearing aid dehumidifier is certainly a wise and nigh-on mandatory investment. It’s certainly one that will pay off in the long run by keeping your hearing aid in functional condition and help you avoid the expenses of seeking repairs or having to replace your device entirely. A dehumidifier for hearing aids might just end up being one of the most important maintenance accessories you can obtain.

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In addition to being the Founder and Editor-in Chief at HearingPeople.com, Luis Zuluaga is the founder and CEO of Florida Hearing Institute, an innovative hearing health enterprise in South Florida, focused on bringing high-tech hearing devices at affordable prices to people with hearing loss. Before his latest hearing healthcare endeavors, Luis served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Zounds Hearing Inc., a US-based hearing aid manufacturer that introduced many technical innovations to the hearing aid market.

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