Taking good care of your hearing aid means they’ll last longer, work better and save you money.
In my practice however, it surprises me often how many (often long term) users aren’t taking a few simple and inexpensive steps to help their hearing aids last longer.
THIS DOES NOT NEED TO BE EXPENSIVE. In fact it can cost you next to nothing.
Our bodies are made of moisture, we sweat, we often we live in humid environments and we often go from warm to cool settings that can result in condensation. All of this is bad for electronics and so its not a terrific surprise to me that hearing aids don’t last as long as people would hope they would.
Fortunately there are a couple simple steps to extend their life.
As a good part of regular care you should place your hearing aids in some sort of drying jar over night. If you got one with your hearing aid set then great, your all set. Now just make sure you use it and that the beads inside are still active, they usually have colour indicators of some sort.
If you didn’t and what I’m talking about sounds unfamiliar, don’t despair. There are reasonably inexpensive to buy but the even better news is you don’t even have to buy one if your interested in saving a few dollars. There are some advantages to commercial drying jars, or better yet more advanced dryers but lets skip that for now.
The principle behind these jars is fairly simple. The jar seals your hearing aids over night in an “air tight” environment and something in the container acts as a drying agent to remove any moisture, condensation etc from the hearing aids. This is most often done with desiccant beads that, as they fill up or saturate with moisture, will change colour.
The most common form of desiccant bead is silica gel. You know those little packets you find in a new pair of shoes, a new purse, a bottle of pills or electronics? I’m taking about little packets that usually say “do not eat” on them and either look like a little canister or an enlarged salt packet. These are desiccant beads (usually silica gel) and they’re enclosed in your packaging because they soak up moisture and thus protect things in shipping.
If you collect these and place them in a sealed container like a mason jar you’ve now made a hearing aid drying jar for almost nothing.
Dry uncooked rice is also a natural desiccant and will also work in a pinch. This is the reason you’ll often find a few grains in salt shakers, to help prevent the salt from clumping together with humidity.
Commercial jar might work a little better but these home made solutions should also do a good job. The only problem is the beads won’t last forever so as you find new packets change some of the old ones out as you won’t know when they’re getting saturated.
Putting your hearing aids in a container like this at night is part of a good routine. It means they’re always in the same place, they’re safe from children, pets, accidents (eg spilled water or flood), getting knocked to the floor, getting lost and any other number of life’s unexpected happenings.
In fact, if your hearing aids are NOT in your ears, I recommend they stay either in your night time jar or a travel case as almost every case of lost or damaged hearing aids happens when they aren’t. Even with the best of intentions hearing aids in a tissue get thrown out, hearing aids in a shirt pocket fall out, hearing aids in a purse or pant pocket have a habit of getting caught with keys and wallets, hearing aids on a counter get knocked off. Hearing aids in the ear or a case are almost always safe.
This may have been review for many but I hope this was helpful at least for some