What to Do When Your Hearing Aids Get Wet
Most hearing aids in today’s market have varying levels of resistance to moisture, meaning sweating from a hard workout or walking outside on a rainy day won’t damage your hearing aids. However, the majority of hearing aids are not 100% waterproof, and it’s important that you be conscious of your hearing aids in wet environments.
But whether you forgot to remove your hearing aids before taking a shower or you got caught in a torrential rainstorm, it is not always easy to remember to store your hearing aids safely before exposure to moisture. Many patients soon become so used to wearing their hearing devices that they forget to take them out!
While this is an understandable mistake, if this happens to you, immediate action is needed to save your devices from permanent damage. Read on to find out what to do.
Step 1: Immediately remove the hearing aid and turn it off
Removal is a logical step if the hearing aid stopped working after the water exposure. The tricky thing is that it might not stop working right away, so you might be tempted to assume the it will be okay. The faster you react to an accidental dunking, the greater the chance you’ll be able to save the hearing aid from the damaging effects of moisture, so don’t rationalize – just act.
Remove the casing from the wet device and remove the batteries (wet batteries will continue to damage the device if left in place).
Step 2: Wipe off excess dirt
Rinse dirty water. Mud, dirt, and salt water can cause corrosion that will cause problems even after drying. If the device was in unclean or salty water, rinse or wipe it down with clean water before drying.
Step 3: Dry Your Hearing aid
After manually removing the water, you can begin dehumidifying your hearing aids. There are several ways to do so.
Air dry your hearing aids. The simplest method for drying hearing aids is to leave the casing open and place them on clean paper. Allow them to air-dry for at least 24 hours. It may help to place the hearing aid within six feet of a table lamp or rotating fan. Leave the aid to dry out with the battery door completely open. Place them in a warm place but keep them far from any direct sources of heat.
Use uncooked rice. Since rice absorbs water, it can be used as a dehumidifier for electronic devices. Put a cup of uncooked rice in a container and set your hearing aids inside. Close the lid and leave it for 24 hours. The rice will suck all the moisture out of the hearing aids, leaving them dry and ready to use. Test out your hearing aids by inserting new batteries and turning them on.
Use a hearing aid dehumidifier. You may need to leave the hearing aid in the dehumidifier for a day or 2, depending on the amount of water exposure.
Remember to avoid heat
The most important thing to remember is to avoid heat. That means no hair dryers, ovens, microwaves, or extended periods in direct sunlight. While heat will certainly evaporate the moisture, it could also warp components and melt adhesives.
Those fragile glues are also why you’ll want to avoid dunking the hearing aid in rubbing alcohol, an oft prescribed tip you might find on the internet. Alcohol is a solvent and can dissolve the internal adhesives.
Step 4: Take it to the professionals
If your hearing aids are still wet after you’ve attempted to dry them, contact your hearing aid provider to have them professionally dried with a machine like Redux.
Dryers are recommended as part of your hearing aid care routine, especially if you live in a humid climate, if you lead an active lifestyle, or if you perspire heavily. Drying out your hearing aids regularly will prolong the life of the hearing aids, improve function, and reduce the number of repairs.
Many hearing aid warranties cover the cost of this repair. If your hearing aid is out-of-warranty, a hearing aid repair charge will apply, which is significantly more cost-effective than purchasing a new hearing aid. If you’re in this situation, it’s worth looking for a hearing provider who uses Redux, the hearing aid drying tool which could save you money when doing an out-of-warranty repair.
Remember, if you get your hearing aid wet, do not fear! Your hearing aids aren’t necessarily damaged beyond repair. Try any and all of the above suggestions, and avoid contact with high heat.