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Time to hit the water or the golf course for a little summer time fun. Or maybe you’re a tennis or a barbeque person. Get out there and enjoy the season but take a little extra care to avoid damaging your hearing aids. In the winter condensation from inside and outside temperature changes can be damaging. In the summer, it’s moisture, but a different kind. Often, we can repair and do an evaluation on your hearing aids while you wait, but here’s some maintenance tips to help you avoid problems before they happen!
Avoid moisture, water damage
If your favorite summer activities involve pools, beaches, misters and water parks – leave your hearing aids at home. Water and moisture are not friends to those expensive marvels of technology enhance your hearing.
Salt water can wreak havoc with hearing aids. When the salt water dries, it leaves crystals on your hearing devices and the tiny crystals damage and clog the receivers and microphone and corrode the battery contact points.
If you are a pool party and not planning on swimming, avoid areas where you may get splashed – like near the diving board. If they do get wet, be sure to remove the batteries and let the whole device dry out naturally and completely. Do not use a hair dryer or a microwave oven to try and dry them out, the sudden blast of heat will be just as damaging.
Perspiration qualifies as moisture, too. If you think you might have moisture issues this summer, invest in a hearing aid dehumidifier. They dry and sanitize your hearing aids, act as a storage case and are very portable so they can travel with you when you are on vacation. If you are an avid swimmer who needs to keep your hearing aids in, think about getting custom swim molds for your hearing devices. There are moisture guards for some specific behind-the-ear models.
Don’t leave your hearing aids sit out in the bathroom to “dry” its damp in there and they can easily be knocked down the sink or into the toilet. Don’t store them in a plastic bag if you must take them out while you are on the go. Plastic baggies sweat in the heat and then you’ve got that whole moisture/condensation thing going on again. Always store your hearing aids in a cool, dry place.
Keep your hearing aids away from dirt, sand and debris. Sand, sun screen, bug spray, tanning lotion, conditioning spray you put on your hair while outside and all forms of pollens and mold can damage hearing aids. Spray or lotion can clog the microphones, tubing and other important parts of your hearing devices. Bits of seeds, pollen and vegetation floating around outside will do the same thing.
Never touch your hearing aids if your hands are sandy greasy or sticky.
Use the soft cloth and bush you received with your hearing aids to wipe the moisture off and sweep off debris. Do not dig around in your hearing aid to get dirt out – bring them in to be cleaned if brushing doesn’t work.
Heat is not your friend
Keep your hearing aids away from extreme heat. This means if you remove them to go swimming or lay on the beach, don’t leave them on the dashboard or in the glove compartment of your car. The outside casing on your hearing devices can melt under direct sunlight. Heat will also damage the batteries and can cause shorting out or even battery failure. Remember if you put them on a counter or on a dresser in the direct sunlight, they can get hot enough to be damaged.
Protect your hearing aids
Soft, hard and/or waterproof cases are available for your specific type of hearing devices from the manufacturer. Most sporting goods stores also carry waterproof cases for glasses that can be used for hearing devices. Buy several so you’ve always got one handy. Remember if you start to notice a drop in sound quality from your hearing aids and you’ve cleaned them, they should be serviced right away. Leaving grit or grease on areas you can see will continue to damage them. Cleaning, maintenance, extra batteries – HearCare can help with all these things, so you can enjoy your summer!