July 6, 2011

Ask the Audiologist

By Janet Liddicoat, Au.D., CCC-A
Audiology Consultants, P.C.

In the summer time my hearing aids cut out when I am working outside, why is that?

As we all know, the summers here by the Mississippi River are hot and humid. Every time I put a hearing aid on a patient I always recommend that they don’t keep them in the bathroom, because of the extra moisture in the air from the shower. The moisture or humidity can cause your hearing aids to cut out, especially when you are working outdoors in the garden or flowerbeds. Not only is there more moisture in the air, but you are also perspiring more than you would be inside. These two factors together can cause the electronics in your hearing aid to quit working. The first couple of times you may take the hearing aid out and in a couple of hours it has dried out and is working again. But after sometime of this occurring, the hearing aid may not start working again. What can you do to help with this problem?

One recommendation is to not wear the hearing aid while you are working outside on a hot humid day. This is easier done if you are working alone and don’t really need to hear anything important at the time. Just make sure to put the hearing aids in a safe place out of the humid weather.

Another recommendation is to use a drying kit for hearing aids. What is it? It is a jar with desiccant beads inside that pull the moisture out of the electronics of the hearing aid. This helps to prevent the hearing aid from cutting out due to moisture and may help extend the life of your hearing aid. All you have to do is place the hearing aid in the jar every night.

The question on your mind now might be, How long does it last? Well that can depend on when you are using it the most. In the winter, the drying kit can last around three months but in the summer time the life of the kit is shortened to about a month or two. This is due to the extra humidity in the air. If kept in a cool and dry environment the life of the drying kit may be extended.

A drying kit is a great investment for your hearing aid if you are exposed to a lot of moisture, either in the air or by perspiring. They are also an inexpensive investment to assist in prolonging the life of your hearing aid and can be found at most Audiology offices.

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