How Does a Hearing Aids Dryer Work?
Hearing Aids Dryer units are low-power, electrical appliances, recommended for in-home use every night. All models include digital circuitry for precise timing and temperature control. Place your hearing aids in the drying compartment, press the ON button, and Hearing Aids Dryer does the rest. For the first few minutes, an ultraviolet lamp sanitizes the hearing aids by killing resident bacteria. Then for the next eight hours, Hearing Aids Dryer gently circulates warm, dry air. Throughout the cycle, the desiccant captures the moisture molecules as they are released from the hearing aids and also eliminates odors. All models have a built-in timer and will automatically turn off after eight hours.
Why do you call it a conditioning system?
Hearing Aids Dryer is not simply a dryer, and moisture removal is just one of its many benefits. Hearing Aids Dryer also dries cerumen for easier removal from hearing aids, and it deodorizes the hearing aids. A UV-C germicidal lamp (included in the Professional, Global, and Global II models only) kills 99.9% of bacteria and other organisms that if not removed can cause itching, irritation, or recurring infections. You can expect improved clarity and dependability, longer-lasting batteries, fresh and clean hearing aids, and for many people, an end to itching and irritated ears.
What if I have to use my hearing instruments before the 8-hour cycle is finished?
Simply open the unit to retrieve your hearing devices. While the best results will be achieved with the full 8 hours of conditioning, some of the benefit of Hearing Aids Dryer conditioning can be gained by shorter cycles. Global and Professional: When you interrupt the process by opening the unit, the timer re-sets itself, ready for the next full cycle. Zephyr model: press the ON/OFF switch to interrupt the cycle.
How warm does it get? Is it safe for ear molds and wax guards? What about the batteries?
The temperature inside Hearing Aids Dryer is not much different from your body temperature. It is limited by a thermal control system, so you can safely place everything in the tray - hearing aids, earmolds, tubing, even the batteries.
I can leave the batteries in?
Yes, you can leave the batteries in the hearing aids during conditioning, with the battery door open. Independent testing by Energizer revealed that in high humidity conditions, Hearing Aids Dryer appliances can increase zinc air battery life by 10-20%. Another reason for batteries lasting longer is simply that it takes less energy to power a hearing aid that is completely dry.
The good news is that you don't need to fumble around removing those tiny batteries or risk losing them. What you want to do is open the battery compartment door so that batteries & contacts are exposed, and also to facilitate the warm dry air circulating throughout your aids. Though rechargeable batteries don't benefit from the drying process (because they're a closed system) it won't harm them either because D&S uses very gentle heat. (98-104 degrees F)
Does it work on noise maskers, ear monitors, ear buds, and cochlear implant speech processors?
Yes. Since moisture dampens the responsiveness of microphones and speakers, corrodes battery contacts, and interferes with conductivity of delicate electronics, any device that includes one or more of those components can benefit greatly from Hearing Aids Dryer. Hearing Aids Dryer also helps prevent corrosion of other components such as switches and hinges.
Behind-the ear and in-the-ear devices such as monitors and maskers, as well as ear-level speech processors, can be conditioned in any model. Hearing Aids Dryer is also effective for drying and sanitizing ear buds that are used with portable music players.
How does Dry & Store relieve itching or irritated ears?
Hearing Aids Dryer Professional, Global, and Global II models have a highly specialized ultraviolet (UV-C) germicidal lamp that operates at the beginning of the conditioning cycle. During this brief period, the lamp generates enough germicidal energy to kill 99.9% of the bacteria that are a common cause of itching ears. (Note that the only function of the UV-C lamp is to kill germs; it does not heat the unit. The unit is heated by other mechanisms that precisely control the heat.) The Zephyr does not contain a UV lamp but does provide the same drying benefit as its larger siblings, the Professional and Global models. Click here for more
Does the UV lamp heat the appliance?
At 4 watts, the UV-C lamp used in Hearing Aids Dryer generates very little heat. The air inside Hearing Aids Dryer is warmed - and controlled - by a different mechanism. The UV-C lamp is on for just a few minutes at the beginning of the 8-hour conditioning cycle. Click here for more information about the germicidal lamp in the Global II and Professional models.
Does the UV lamp hasten hardening of BTE tubes? Can it cause damage or discoloration?
At 4 watts, the Hearing Aids Dryer lamp is a great surface sanitizer, but it has no penetrating power, and it does not generate damaging ozone. With tens of thousands of units in use, the germicidal cycle has not had a detrimental effect on tubing or molds. Tubing is often affected by climate conditions, body oils, hairsprays and similar products.
My hearing aids get clogged with earwax. Can Dry & Store help?
Yes. Earwax contains a certain amount of moisture. When that moisture is removed during Hearing Aids Dryer conditioning, it becomes flaky and easier to remove from the instrument. In a nationwide survey, 100% of dispensers recognized Dry & Store as an effective cerumen management tool.
What is a desiccant and what does it do?
Desiccant is a term for a substance that captures moisture, either through absorption or adsorption (a specialized term in chemistry). The desiccant is a critical part of the Hearing Aids Dryer conditioning process, because it captures the moisture released during the 8-hour conditioning cycle. Without a desiccant, moisture would simply re-settle on and in the hearing aids at the end of the cycle.
The Dry-Brik II desiccant used in Dry & Store, a powerful proprietary molecular sieve, is super efficient at capturing moisture, and it is also a highly effective deodorizing agent.
Do all Hearing Aids Dryer appliances use the same desiccant?
Yes. The same Dry-Brik works in the Professional, Global, Global II, and Zephyr models. Alternatively, the Global and Zephyr models can also use a rechargeable metal can desiccant, according to personal preference. Please note, however, that a metal can does not provide the deodorizing function, and due to the amount of moisture being moved to the desiccant during Dry & Store conditioning, a can desiccant will require more frequent re-charging than is common when used with a pouch or jar.
The Dry-Brik II is a superior product based on the physical characteristics of its active ingredients. The Dry-Brik II uses a "molecular sieve," a premium sorbent which contains tiny pores of a precise and uniform size. It acts at a molecular level (hence the name) by allowing small molecules - such as water - to pass through, where they are retained within the pores. A molecular sieve can adsorb water up to 22% of its own weight, and it is especially effective when operating in a warm environment such as a Dry & Store or Zephyr. One of its important features is that once it grabs onto a moisture molecule, it holds it tightly so it's "gone for good."
The canister desiccant's ingredient, silica gel, is an inexpensive, man-made, solid substance with a high surface area but no uniform porosity. Ease of regeneration makes it suitable for users in areas where Dry-Briks are not available or for individuals who choose to not use consumables. Silica gel is most effective at room temperature, and its capacity declines as it is heated. It will not adsorb the same amount of water as molecular sieve, but since it can be easily regenerated in a conventional oven (no microwaves!), this is typically not an issue for most users.
How long does a Dry-Brik last?
The Dry-Brik II is formulated to last two months even in highly humid climates.
Will the Dry-Brik last longer if I remove it from the machine every morning and store it in a zip-lock baggie during the day?
No, for all that extra effort, you won't see any difference in the life of the Dry-Brik. That's because when the Dry & Store lid or drawer is closed and it's not turned on, there's no air movement, and air is not being actively drawn into the closed unit. DO keep the drawer closed during the daytime. DO keep the unit someplace other than extreme humid areas such as the bathroom. The manufacturer of the new Dry-Brik II guarantees that it will adsorb moisture for two (2) months.