Hearing aids are electronic devices that are made up of lots of tiny components. These makes them very delicate and requires a lot of care. There are a lot of factors that can lead to your hearing aids been damaged. While some hearing aids model may seem to last longer others don’t. There are some hearing aids that are more prone to damage than the others. Hearing aids that are designed to fit into the ear canal (ITC) are more likely to get destroyed than BTE hearing aids.
Every kind of hearing aid, there are measures that are general measures that should be taken to ensure that your hearing aids remain safe and keep working for a long time. The aim of this article is to look at some of those things you’re doing that can completely destroy your hearing aid.
While some hearing aids problems can be easily repaired, there are others that will require a complete replacement of the hearing aid.
The humidity factor
Of all the factors that can damage the vital parts of a hearing aid, none has a far-reaching effect that the effect of water. Most hearing aid users try as much as possible to keep their hearing aid away from the rain, the swimming pool, and free running waters. While this is good, most time they still miss the fact which is the humidity factor.
Humidity can be very disastrous to the hearing aid because it is almost an invisible enemy. This is why it is important to understand the harmful effect of humidity on the hearing aid. Understanding of the far-reaching effect of humidity to your device will help you to take better care of your hearing aid.
Understanding Humidity – what does it mean?
We often hear so much talk about humidity, but most people don’t care to take a deep insight to understand the meaning of the term and how it occurs. According to Wikipedia, humidity is the number of water molecules present in the air.in this gaseous state of water, it is invisible to the eyes. When humidity is calculated as a percentage, it refers to the amount of water vapor in the air as compared to what can be held by the air. An increase in the percentage of humidity will cause the day to feel wetter.
The human body has a way of responding to humidity through sweat. Sweating helps to cool down the body. When we sweat, it is expected to evaporate. However, the rate of evaporation will be very slow when the humidity is very high. Electronics devices are not very friendly with moisture.
Humidity and electronics device – how it affects the hearing aid
Your hearing aids are very sensitive to high humidity as well as low humidity. High humidity causes condensation of the internal components. When the humidity is very dry, this can cause the plastic components to brittle.
Your hearing aids work through a sophisticated process. The internal components consist of a lot of micro parts which can easily get damaged when moisture builds up within the device. It is, therefore, an important care method to prevent moisture from building up within your device.
Humidity and the safety of your hearing aid – how to ensure your hearing aid is safe
Preventing your hearing aid from damage is far cheaper than repair cost or even the cost of replacement. It is, therefore, to consider the safest practices when buying a hearing aid. It is most advisable to go for water-resistant devices when purchasing a hearing aid. This will give you some level of protection from humidity and wet weather. This doesn’t mean you should deliberately expose the device to water.
There are a few other things you can do to ensure that your hearing aid is safe with a long-lasting performance. Some of the basic things you can do to keep your hearing aid safe are:
- Invest in a home dehumidifier
The home dehumidifier is a good way of ensuring that the water vapor in the air within the home is kept at a minimal level. The home humidifier is not only important in protecting your hearing aid but other electronic devices as well. Where the humidity level is high within the home, things such as dust mites, molds and mildew thrive successfully. Therefore, a home humidifier is one way you can take care of these problems.
When it comes to taking care of your hearing aids personally, it might cost you some extra cash. This is because you have to put in extra effort and measures.
- Hearing aid dehumidifier
Hearing aid dehumidifiers are special cases designed to keep the hearing aid safe and free from humidity. These cases come in different designs with different price tags attached to them. Depending on your budget, you can find something handy for your device. These containers are specially designed to ensure that your hearing aid stay dry when they are not in use or at night when you are asleep.
- The use of silica gel crystals
Silica gel crystals are used to get rid of moisture from almost every device. Ranging from electronics to household product, silica gel has proven important over time. silica gel crystals can be found in a pair of new shoes you purchase. They are practically very common to come about. Put a silica gel crystal into a drying kit and put your hearing aid into it. This will help get rid of any moisture trapped within the device and keep it safe from damage.
Dry the hearing aids using artificial methods
For those who find themselves in extreme conditions where they have no access to hearing aid dehumidifiers, there are traditional ways of dehumidifying the hearing aid. Placing the hearing aid in a bowl of uncooked rice can help get rid of the humidity trapped inside. You can also dry the hearing aid by the use of a fan. Remove the battery cover and gently bring out the battery. Place in a location where the fans can blow directly on the hearing aid. It is better to do this at low fan speed to ensure that the fan doesn’t blow away the hearing aid.
It is very important to keep the battery door open and remove the battery when drying your hearing aid. This helps to reduce condensation and improve evaporation naturally. This is a very important practice if you hope to keep using your hearing aid over a long period of time.
Hearing aids last longer and perform better when they are stored in a cool dry place. Avoid storing the hearing aid where they are exposed to the direct sunlight as well as storing them in a very hot container of gloves. These can be harmful to the performance and lifespan of your hearing aid.
Other ways your hearing aids can get destroyed
There are other ways your hearing aid can get damaged. Beyond the effects of humidity, there are other things you do that can be very harmful to your hearing aid. Some of these things include:
- Allowing bad battery in the hearing aid for so long is harmful.
Most people make the mistake of allowing bad batteries to remain in the hearing aid for so long. This practice is very harmful to your hearing aid. Spoilt batteries can lead to corrosion which can cause severe damage to the internal components of the hearing aid. It is advisable to remove the batteries. This will help preserve your hearing aid and extend its life span.
- Avoid touching your hearing aids with other kinds of liquid
Touching your hearing aids with your hands after using other liquids such as hair lotion and body creams can be a good way to shorten the life span of your hearing aid. While some people may tend to ignore this, the chemicals contained in hair lotions and body creams can be harmful to the components of your hearing aids.
- Don’t go swimming with your hearing aid no matter what the signs say
Because the instructions on the pack say water resistant doesn’t mean you should go swimming. This is generally not advisable. Remove your hearing aid and store in a safe case before taking a dive. Avoid going to the beach with your hearing aids on. Beach sands can enter your hearing aids and cause severe damage to the hearing aid.
- The way you choose to store your hearing aid can either prolong the life or damage the hearing aid
The way you choose to store your device when not in use can be harmful to the hearing aid. Storing the hearing aid in conditions that are inappropriate can be harmful to the hearing aid. It is therefore important to read the instructions carefully about the safest ways to store your hearing aid to ensure you store it properly.
- Ensure to wear sweatbands when exercising with your hearing aids
Sweat can be very harmful to your hearing aids. The best way to ensure that your hearing aids stay save when exercising is to wear a sweatband. Sweat in the ears can cause severe damage to your hearing aid. It is also important to keep the hearing aid dry after your exercise session. This will help to keep your hearing aid safe and working in perfect conditions.
- Watch the surface before putting down your hearing aid
This is very crucial, wet glasses and coffee cups leave wet spots on the table. Watch carefully before you drop your hearing aid. You don’t want to drop your hearing aid in water and get it damaged.
- The number of times your hearing aids hit the ground can damage your hearing aid.
Hearing aids are very delicate devices and require a good measure of care when handling them. It is important to ask for a directive on how best to handle your hearing aid from your audiologists. Hearing aids record the highest number of falls during cleaning. Therefore, it is important to put in some good measure of care when handling the hearing aid.
In the canal hearing aids (ITC) should also be handled with care during removal. When removing this kind of hearing aid, it is important to do it carefully. There have been reported cases of the hearing aid falling off while attempting to remove them.
- Your hearing aid can get “eaten” as a result of poor storage
Yes! There are reported cases of hearing aids been eaten by children and pets. This is as a result of poor storage. In fact, children and pets can constitute the greatest damage to the hearing aid. Children and pets tend to find a way of exploring any item they come in contact with their mouth. There are cases of children swallowing different kinds of items, your hearing aid is not an exception. Remember, keep your hearing aids away from the reach of children and pets don’t forget.
- Your hearing aid gets frozen as a result of extreme temperature
Why we should take care not to expose our hearing aid to hot temperature, it is also important to be wary of extreme cold temperature. Using the hearing aid in extremely cold temperatures can affect the performance of the hearing aid. Frozen hearing aids can gradually become damaged.
- Don’t forget to take off your hearing aid before taking a shower
Once you have gotten used to the hearing aid, it is more likely to forget the hearing aid in the ear before going to the bathroom or jumping into the swimming pool. These days, hearing aids are very small and comfortable that we hardly forget they are in there. For those who are in the habit of taking off their hearing aids before a shower, they are less likely to have a problem with this. However, it is important to double check before going to the shower.
Taking care of your hearing aid
Hearing aids are tiny but yet they are very advanced devices. They are designed to assist people with hearing loss problem. When next you suspect that your hearing aid is no longer working fine. There are a few things you can try at home before visiting a hearing aid professional.
Always ensure to keep your hearing aid clean
A dirty hearing aid may not perform its full functions well. Because of the nature of the hearing aid, it is very easy for dirt and ear wax to get into the hearing aid causing it not to work to full potentials. One of the ways to ensure that this doesn’t happen is by ensuring that your hearing aid is properly cleaned regularly. When the microphone or the receiver of your hearing aid is blocked, it becomes difficult to pick up sound very well. Ask your hearing aid professional to teach you the safest and effective ways of cleaning your hearing aids. It is also important to book for a professional cleaning and check-up for your hearing aid to ensure that they remain in good working condition for a long time.
Ensure that your ears are clean
While you ensure that the hearing device remains clean, it is also important to ensure that your ears are also kept clean. When you keep your ears clean and ensure that your device is clean, you reduce the number of times you visit the hospital for the repair of your hearing aid. While earwax is naturally produced in the ear, excess secretion of earwax can be harmful to the hearing aid. Ensure to lean your ears daily to reduce the amount of earwax in your ear. If you notice abnormal secretion of earwax or frequent clogging of the ear; you need to see a hearing aid professional.
Avoid using cotton swabs or other forms of objects into the ear in other to clean the ear. These practices can be harmful to your inner ear. It can even force the earwax deeper into the ear or even cause harm to your eardrum.
Ensure your hearing aids are always dry
We have looked at the harmful effect of moisture on the hearing aid. It is, therefore, very important to ensure that your hearing aids are kept completely dry. Hearing aid accumulates a lot of moisture as you use it daily. It is therefore important to keep your hearing aid dry before sleep every day. Open the battery cover and remove the battery cover. Keep the hearing aid in a safe and dry place and allow to dry throughout the night. This little step can help reduce trapped in moisture and prevent your hearing aid from facing severe damage.
You can also invest in hearing aid dehumidifier as we earlier mentioned. This device is designed to ensure that your hearing aid stay dry and lasts longer.
Troubleshooting your hearing aid for minor issues
Your hearing aid suddenly stops to function as expected, no need to panic just yet. There are a few things you can do to check the performance before visiting your healthcare professional.
- Ensure your hearing aid is turned on: It is most common for first-time users to forget to switch on their hearing aids. If you’re a first time user, it is, therefore, important to double check that your hearing aid is switched on before raising the alarm.
- Ensure that you did not alter the volume of your hearing aid: Ensure that your volume control is not altered. Removing the volume from the correct level can affect the performance of the hearing aid. There is a chance that you might have altered the volume level and the hearing aid fails to perform as expected.
- Ensure your battery is okay: poor battery quality can affect the performance of the hearing aid. Poor battery positioning can cause your hearing aid not to work. Check and ensure that the battery is well positioned and try again. If it doesn’t still work, consider changing the batteries entirely and try again. Ensure the problem is not as a result of a battery problem before considering visiting a hearing aid professional.
- If you’re using a BTE hearing aid, ensure to check the tubing: Worn out tubing in BTE devices can lead to the poor performance of the hearing aid. If you notice that your hearing aid tubing is damaged or worn out, it is important to report to your hearing aid professional. Don’t attempt fixing this kind of problem yourself.
When to get help for your hearing aid
- You have tried out all the possible efforts to ensure your hearing aid is working properly but to no avail. you should consider visiting a hearing aid professional.
- You have tried all kinds of troubleshooting and your hearing aid won’t still work. You should consider visiting a hearing aid professional.
- When you start noticing high-rate of whistling and feedbacks from your hearing aid then you need to visit a hearing aid professional.
- If your hearing aid is heavily damaged, it is important to see a hearing aid professional for a replacement.
Caring for your hearing aid is very important. However, it is important to ensure that the hearing professional takes care of it professionally. While this article is intended as a general guide, it is not intended to replace professional care. Visiting a healthcare professional is very important when you notice any major issues with your hearing aid.
Before you consider wearing a hearing aid, it is important to visit the health care professional for proper examination and prescription. While it is possible to purchase a hearing aid over the counter, it is important to ensure you go for a proper examination before throwing your money into a device.
it is also important to keep to your routine checkup to ensure your hearing problem does not deteriorate to a bad situation. When a hearing aid professional notices that your hearing problem has deteriorated, there will be a need for an upgrade or a change.
You can find a hearing aid professional through a recommendation from your doctor or by checking an online directory for a local audiologist near you.