Hearing well helps keep us active, independent, involved and healthy.
If you have a hearing loss it’s important to wear your hearing aids every day for best benefit and to help your brain get used to the sound and acclimatize.
Summer Maintenance Tips:
Hearing aids require ongoing maintenance and care. The most common reasons hearing aids have problems are moisture and ear wax. Ear wax could be the subject of another article – but moisture is something everyone needs to be aware of, especially with Summer on its way.
Summer’s warm weather unfortunately brings higher humidity and perspiration which can damage hearing aids. And a dip in the ocean or swimming pool can be fatal for your hearing technology.
How can you protect your hearing aids this Summer?
You have a range of options:
- #1 try to keep your hearing aids away from moisture/water as much as possible. Take them off before you have a shower or go for a swim.
- Keep your hearing aids somewhere dry at night– not in the bathroom. If you have a hot water cupboard you could put the hearing aids and case in there at night. Leave the case OPEN so the hearing aids can dry out, and leave the hearing aid battery doors open too – this not only shuts off the hearing aids but lets them dry out.
- Dry pottles are a common and affordable option ($10 to $25) from your local hearing clinic. This is a small jar or plastic pottle with a capsule of silica crystals. Those crystals need to be replaced every 2-3 months (on average) – so check to make sure they are still fresh, otherwise they won’t work. And again, open the battery doors on the hearing aids- this shuts them off and also opens the device for better drying.
- The most sophisticated option for keeping hearing aids dry and clean is an electronic dry kit. These sell at hearing aid centres for $200-$250 They not only dry the hearing aids with gentle warming overnight but they also shine UV light on them to clean them.
What do I do if I accidentally get the hearing aids wet (in the shower or the swimming pool)?
- #1 dry them off and take out the batteries. Bin the wet batteries. Take off any domes or ear moulds and dry each piece as best you can.
- After you’ve dried off the hearing aids as much as you can (inside and out) ideally you should use one of the above options like a dry pottle or dry kit, overnight.
- Pop a fresh set of batteries in and see how you go. New technology hearing aids are nano-coated for moisture, so a quick splash may not harm them. However, it might be worth a visit to your hearing aid centre for a clean and check, or send them in to the manufacturer for a check.
- If the hearing aids are badly damaged, or lost, you may be able to claim for replacement under your home contents insurance policy. Check with your insurance company and/or your hearing clinic.
Enjoy Summer and here’s to hearing well!
Contributed by Dr Teresa Burns, AuD, MA, BSc (Hons), Dip (Business), Audiologist and Director of Teresa Burns Hearing, located on Auckland’s North Shore. Teresa has been an Audiologist for over 20 years and is passionate about providing world class hearing services in a locally owned, friendly, independent clinic environment. She can’t wait for Summer. https://www.teresaburnshearing.co.nz/
What about re-chargable batteries? Normally they would stay in the hearing aid permanently.
Yes, rechargeable hearing aids are excellent as the overnight charger heats the hearing aid units and works like a dry kit.
Some chargers also have a slot to put one of the dry capsules in for extra protection. If you have one of those be sure the capsules are fresh.