Summer Maintenance Tips for Your Hearing Aids

Summer Maintenance Tips for Your Hearing Aids

Leanne E. Polhill, LHAS, BC-HIS, BA Hearing Aid Maintenance, Hearing Aids

Leanne E. Polhill, LHAS, BC-HIS, BA

Summertime presents opportunities to connect with friends and family for fun in the sun, but it is not without its hazards for hearing aids! If you’re gearing up for summer activities, remember these tips to help keep your hearing aids in tip-top shape!

Hearing Aids are Water-Resistant, Not Waterproof

With few exceptions, hearing aids are able to withstand a little bit of water, but not the kind of submersion they would experience while you’re swimming or showering. Even hearing aids with a higher IP rating, indicating that they can withstand temporary submersion, should not be exposed to water. It’s always best to keep them clean and dry, just like your other electronic devices.

Take Care at the Beach

If you’re hitting the seaside, remember that both water and sand can cause problems for your hearing aids. Especially if you’ve got sand on your hands, make sure to clean it all off before you touch your hearing aids to take them out, put them in, or adjust their volume or programming. Sand can abrate the plastic casing, and may also clog the microphone and speaker openings.

Bring a waterproof case with you that can fit your hearing aids inside. When you go swimming or lie down in the sand, you can put your hearing aids inside. Remember to make sure that you and your hands are clean and dry before you take them back out!

Consider Hearing Aid Covers

Hearing aid covers are made out of a breathable fabric that helps wick moisture away from the device. While they won’t help much if you completely submerge them, they can keep sweat from getting into your hearing aids during strenuous activity.

Consider “Waterproof” Hearing Aids

Thanks to rechargeable technology, which allows manufacturers to make hearing aids with no accessible battery compartment, there are now a few models on the market that can withstand submersion, notably Phonak’s Audéo Life. While it is still recommended to avoid exposure to moisture whenever possible, these hearing aids can withstand more exposure than typical hearing aids. They may be a good choice if:

  • You perspire heavily. Heavy sweat can easily make its way into hearing aids, and you’ll have more peace of mind knowing that you don’t need to remove your hearing aids in order to dry them multiple times each day.
  • You live in an especially humid climate. Humidity can easily get into hearing aids, especially when moving from an air-conditioned space into the more humid outdoors, when condensation draws the humidity onto the surface of your hearing aids.
  • You engage in water-oriented activities. Boating or fishing can expose your hearing aids to splashing water and spray.
  • You are sometimes forgetful. It is not uncommon for a wearer to forget they’ve got their hearing aids in and step into the shower!

Follow Regular Maintenance Procedures

These are generally good guidelines for maintaining your hearing aids no matter the time of year, but it can be especially important in the summertime to set your hearing aids up for the best nighttime resting experience when you take them out at the end of the day.

  • As soon as you take your hearing aids out, wipe them with a clean, dry cloth to remove any moisture, debris and skin oil from the outside.
  • If your hearing aids use disposable batteries, leave the battery compartments open through the night. This will help any accumulated moisture to evaporate more easily.
  • If you live in a humid environment, or if you tend to sweat a lot, it may be worth investing in a hearing aid dehumidifier. You can leave your hearing aids in this device overnight and wake up to a completely dry set of hearing aids each morning. If you wear rechargeable hearing aids, most manufacturers offer a dehumidifying charger as an optional add-on.

Consider Professional Cleaning

It’s a good idea, especially if you know your hearing aids have been exposed to an unusually high amount of moisture, to get them professionally cleaned on a regular basis. A thorough drying is part of every professional cleaning, and your hearing aids will emerge almost like new!

Enjoy your summer, and if you’re in the market for a set of hearing aids, make an appointment for a hearing test today and find out how hearing aids can help you get the most out of your recreational time!