June 2022 Ask the Experts

It is that time of year again when those lazy-hazy-crazy days of summer are upon us. For all the good summertime brings with its longer days, ice teas and summer nights, it does come with one catch: the unrelenting heat and humidity. While sweating in the summer heat despite air conditioners is common, it can wreak havoc on our electronic devices. This is of particular significance for hearing device wearers because electronics (which hearing devices are) are particularly sensitive to moisture and dust. While hearing devices have improved regarding dirt and moisture resistance, wearers must be extra diligent with maintenance and prevention during the hot and humid summer months.

It is always wise for hearing device wearers to have routine maintenance checks with their hearing care providers during the summer. Every summer, our office sees an uptick in factory repairs due to excessive moisture. This is typically caused by lack of maintenance, excessive sweating, moist air, or the accidental dunk into a pool or lake! While hearing aids are mainly impervious to water, they are not waterproof. When a hearing aid is exposed to too much moisture, either all at once or accumulatively, the electronic components can short out or corrode. Corrosion can often be avoided by routine deep cleanings, use of a hearing aid dryer, and having parts switched out such as mic covers and filters.

We recommend that patients use a hearing aid dehumidifier (dryer). A dehumidifier is a simple way to draw out and dry up moisture in a hearing device. This can be done using either a desiccant puck (with a battery charger), a Dri-Aid Kit, or an electric dryer with Dry Briks. Desiccant pucks are small, disposable disks that contain moisture absorbing silica (silicon dioxide) beads that fit into hearing device cases. Dri-Aid Kits are jars filled with moisture absorbing beads or pellets that come in both disposable and reusable methods. The reusable kits have beads/pellets that can be dried out and reactivated in the oven or microwave. Lastly, there are a variety of electric drying kits equipped with desiccant Briks and UV lights. These kits use heat, moving air and desiccant Dry-Briks made from molecular sieves (a synthetic porous material) to draw out and capture moisture. These products can be ordered through your hearing care provider or through online retailers.

Another way to keep dirt, sweat and moisture out of your hearing device is through moisture wicking slipcovers called, “Ear Gear.” Ear Gear slipcovers are an easy, cost effective way to create a barrier between moisture and your hearing device. They come in a variety of colors and sizes to fit your specific needs. Additionally, you can opt for a corded option that can be clipped to a shirt to prevent the devices from falling, should they be knocked off. This is especially helpful in the summertime when spending time near bodies of water! You can check out these products at Ear Gear.

Oklahomans know that summer moves in quickly! Get ahead of the heat and moisture by having your devices deep cleaned and by stocking up on your moisture prevention supplies. When the inevitable sweating and trips to bodies of water begin, you will be prepared. If you or a loved one wears hearing devices, remember to follow up your fun in the sun with a little extra TLC to your hearing devices! For your summer maintenance question and needs, call us at Pro Hearing today!

Dr. Pam Matthews, Audiologist
Pro Hearing, LLC
9409 N May Avenue and 10404 S Pennsylvania Ave
Oklahoma City, OK