If you are a regular Hearing aid user, your Hearing aids are the extension of your ears. It is important that your Hearing aids are well maintained and remain protected from rain and water. Though regular Home maintenance is strongly recommended throughout the year, one has to be more particular during the rains.
Problems like intermittent switches and crackling noise are more frequent during the rains. Though most of the available Digital Hearing aids are either water repellent or water resistant, they do give minor problems. Picking up a few Tips to protect your Hearing aids from rain and water will ensure trouble-free usage.
What Precautions Should I Take To Protect My Hearing Aids From The Rains?
If you are a regular Hearing aid user and commute to the office, it is natural that your Hearing aids will be exposed to water and humidity. You can read the following tips to protect your Hearing aids from the rain and water
How to Protect Your Hearing Aids from Rain and Water?
If your Hearing aids are not water resistant and you are unexpectedly caught in the rain without an umbrella, your first instinct should be to protect your Hearing aids. The best option is to remove them and put them in a waterproof pouch. Always carry a waterproof pouch or a zip-lock bag. The Hearing aids will stay protected from rain, water and moisture in the waterproof bag.
Always Keep A Keep A Soft, Dry Cloth in the Office
It is advisable to keep a soft, dry cloth in your office. Once you reach the office, remove the Hearing aids and wipe them carefully with a soft dry cloth. In case you do not have a soft, dry cloth, you can use a dry tissue to clean the Hearing aids.
After cleaning the Hearing aids from outside, open the battery compartment and remove the battery. Clean the battery compartment from inside with a dry clean cloth. In case you are an ITC, CIC or a IIC user and cannot insert the cloth, use a cotton bud to clean all the water and the moisture from the battery compartment. It is important to clean and dry the battery as well. If the moisture remains on the battery, the battery will run out faster than usual.
Use a Dehumidifier or a Stay Dry Box
If possible, keep a Dehumidifier box or a Stay Dry box in your office or use it when you retire for the night. Insert the Hearing aids in the Dehumidifier or a Stay Dry box after carefully cleaning them from the outside and the battery compartment from the inside with a dry cloth or tissue. Do not keep the battery in the dehumidifier box.
What is a Hearing Aid Dehumidifier?
A dehumidifier is a box or a container which contains a chemical substance to absorb moisture. The moisture absorbing substance is known as Desiccant. The most common desiccant is Silica gel. The desiccant absorbs the moisture from the hearing aids kept in the dehumidifier box.
What Are the Types of Dehumidifiers?
There are 2 types of Dehumidifiers. The electrically operated ones are more effective. Some of the Dehumidifiers blow air, this helps the hot dry air to reach the inner parts of the Hearing aid and dry the moisture.
The basic non-electrical Dehumidifiers use desiccants. Desiccants are substances which absorb the moisture. Moisture can damage the delicate internal parts of the hearing aid.
Simple Home Tip for Desiccant
In case you do not have a company made dehumidifier or you have run out of desiccant, do not panic. You have an awesome desiccant right in your kitchen, all you need is some rice. Yes! Rice is a very good desiccant, you can insert the Hearing aid into a packet of uncooked rice.
- Protective sleeves for Hearing aids is a good way to protect your Hearing aids. The sleeves made of spandex nylon material are water resistant. The sleeve protects the Hearing aid from rain, water as well as dust. It is ideal for children playing outdoors and for people who sweat.
Can I Use A Hair Dryer To Dry My Hearing Aids?
If your hearing aids get wet in the rain, it is not advisable to use a hairdryer in the hot air mode. Though some dehumidifiers blow hot air into the hearing aids, the air temperature is much lower than the air blown by the commercially available hairdryer. In case you want to use a hairdryer, it should be in a cold air or normal mode. If the air is too hot it can damage the Hearing aid’s delicate internal parts.
Are Waterproof Hearing Aids Available?
100% waterproof Hearing aids are not available but water repellent and water resistant Hearing aids are available from most of the reputed manufacturers.
What Are Water Repellent Hearing Aids?
Most of the hearing aid manufacturers “Nano coat” the outer shell of the Hearing aid. This is a process where the shell has a coating of a very fine layer of a material which is basically “water repellent”. The Nano coating does not allow the water droplets to stick to the Hearing aid shell. The water droplets roll off and do not seep into the Hearing aid through the small openings thereby protecting your hearing aids from water.
Can I Swim With My Water Repellent Hearing Aids?
It is not advisable to use the water-repellent Hearing aids while swimming or while having a shower. These Hearing aids can be comfortably used in normal rain and sweat situations. You do not have to panic and remove your Hearing aids if you are unexpectedly caught in the rain. Though it is still advisable to clean and dry them after you reach home.
What Are Water Resistant Hearing Aids?
Water resistant Hearing aids are a step ahead of water repellent Hearing aids. The design of the Hearing aid housing is such that there are no gaps or openings for the water to get in. A special membrane covers the microphone which allows only air and sound waves to enter but do not permit water to enter inside.
Can I Swim With My Water Resistant Hearing Aids?
Technically these hearing aids work well under water. The depth of the water at which they perform without getting damaged depends on the IP or Ingress Protection rating of the Hearing aids. Refer to the user manual or consult your dispenser to know the IP rating of your hearing aids.
The currently available models of water-resistant Hearing aids generally fall under IP67 or IP68 classification. The IP67 or IP68 rating protect your hearing aids from rain and water under certain conditions.
What is IP67 or IP68 Marking in Hearing Aids?
The first numerical digit conveys the degree of protection from dust particles. The number “6” means that your Hearing aid has 100% protection against dust particles. 6 is the maximum score for dust protection.
The second numerical digit conveys the degree of protection from water. In this case the number 7 or 8 indicates protection against water.
7 indicates that your Hearing aid can be under water for not more than 30 minutes up to a maximum depth of 1 meter.
The number 8 indicates that your Hearing aid can be under water for not more than 60 minutes up to a maximum depth of 1 meter.
IP or Ingress Protection Terminology Explained
The first numerical digit is for protection against dust particles
The second numerical digit is for protection against water at a specified depth.
6 rating Dust protection 100%.
7 rating Water protection: 30 minutes at 1 meter depth.
6 rating Dust protection 100%.
8 rating Water protection: 60 minutes at 1 meter depth.
Do IP67 Or IP68 Hearing Aids Work Under Water?
Please note that the above rating is for the protection of your Hearing aids from water. It does not mean that your Hearing aid will keep working under water for 30 minutes or 60 minutes.
The irony is that the Zinc Air Hearing aid batteries we use require continuous supply of air to produce power. Since air will not be available under water, the Hearing aids stops working. However, they start working once the hearing aids are outside water and the chemical reaction in the battery starts after exposure to air.
Electronics and water do not get along. Protect your hearing aids from rain and water at all times.
Users should read the terms of warranty. In some cases the standard manufacturer warranty is not applicable if the there is any damage to the Hearing aids due to water or humidity. Regular home maintenance will add a few years to the life of your Hearing aids.