Summer is right around the corner! With summer comes water activities such as swimming, diving, and snorkelling. Water, more specifically moisture, is the main cause of damage in hearing aids. So how do you keep your hearing aids protected while enjoying the water?
One way to make sure that your hearing aids do not get damaged is to be prepared. If you know you will be attending an event that involves water, make sure you have a safe and dry place to store your hearing aids. Carrying a small, brightly coloured, waterproof container with the rest of your sun gear is a good way to ensure a safe and eye-catching place for your hearing aids. These containers are fairly inexpensive, so you can buy a few and keep them in the car, in your locker, or in your backpack.
Another option is to purchase hearing aid accessories, which are sleeves or cords that can help keep the hearing aids dry from water. These accessories can be a good investment if you are often going to be playing near the water. The sleeves or cords will not protect your hearing aids, if completely immersed in water, but they will protect your aids if accidentally sprayed with water and from perspiration damage.
What happens if water does get into your hearing aids?
Even if you are totally prepared, accidents can happen! If water does get into your hearing aids, follow these steps to try to repair them:
1) Remove the aid from the water quickly. The less time the aid is exposed to the water, the better.
2) Turn off the aid, remove and discard the battery immediately. Do not be tempted to try to turn on the aid. It is better to turn it off as soon as possible.
3) Close the battery door, remove the tube (if you have one) and dry gently with a towel. Shake it gently to try and get as much water out as possible.
4) Use a hairdryer or a fan to blow-dry it. It’s very important not to let the aid get too hot so don’t use hair-dryer on a high-heat setting – use low-heat and keep the dryer some distances away from the aid. Excessive heat is much worse for electronics than a brief dunk in water. Blow-drying will speed up the dry-out time but you can skip this step if you are worried about the heat or don’t have a fan.
5) Leave the aid to dry out. The amount of time for it to dry will depend on how much moisture got into the device. Leave the aid sitting with the battery door open so that that it can air-dry as much as possible. Better still, place it in a dehumidifier box – this will speed up the drying process considerably.
6) Once the device has dried completely, put in a fresh battery and test it out. You can also use one of the cleaning tools you received with your aid to make sure the water has not left any residue, behind but be very careful poking tools inside your aids.
7) If the aids still do not work then you can either recharge your dehumidifier box and leave it in a while longer or ask your audiologist to send it back for repair.
Never try to microwave or put your hearing aid in the oven! Your hearing aid will likely melt from the excessive heat.
Do you have any other tips for handling hearing aids in the water? Leave a comment!