August 3, 2009

Ask the Audiologist

margaretBy Margaret Christiansen, AU.D, CCC-A
Audiology Consultants, P.C.

Despite my best effort, my hearing aids always break down in the summer months! What can I do differently?

Those hot, muggy Mid-west summer days are just around the corner. Inevitably, we always see more hearing aids breaking down in the summer months. This is largely due to increased moisture getting into the aids.

Perspiration is an obvious problem that can introduce moisture into hearing aids. Because of this, it is important to consider the situations in which you are wearing your hearing aids. Ideally, one’s hearing aids should be worn all day but there are certain instances where it is safer for your hearing aids to be left inside. For instance, if you are working in the yard on a hot day and know you will be perspiring, it is wise to leave your hearing aid inside in a safe, dry location.

Heat and humidity can affect hearing-aid function. Moisture is introduced to the internal components of the hearing aid both by the humidity in our environment and the natural warmth and humidity of our ear canals. Condensation can also occur inside the hearing aid as we move between air conditioning and hot weather resulting in beads of moisture inside the hearing aid.

Tell-tale signs of moisture related hearing-aid problems are corrosion in the battery compartment or intermittent hearing-aid function. If hearing aids are affected by moisture, they may stop working but start working again after being out of the ear for several hours.

If moisture is a problem with your hearing aids, drying systems are available and can make a remarkable difference in the life and function of your aids.

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