How to Protect Your Hearing Aids from Moisture

I created a fairly comprehensive list of IP-rated hearing aids for this article, and also selected some of my favorite IP-rated instruments. Have a read and let me know if you agree :slight_smile:

Are there actually any hearing aids that achieve the “9K, Powerful high-temperature water jets” rating?

I am familiar with the activated alumina type beads used in the Hal Hen dryer. In industrial applications where exceptionally dry air is required (instrument air), activated alumina dryers typically achieve dew points of -40. That is very dry.

When I go outside and it is hot I take hearing aids out since they get moisture in them from sweat. You would think they would be able to make hearing aids water proof but they cannot since there are wholes on them to let noise go thru. My batteries short out after about 1/2 hour of sweating . I then have to put them in the drying machine.

Where can your average consumer purchase the Redux vacuum chamber? That sounds really interesting to me.

No, not yet. I would love to see this though.

Assuming the price would be too high for a consumer, but I will ask.

@DBLDPR have you thought about using Ear Gear?

A hat with a brim works great.

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I have tried 2 different types of hearing aid sweat bands. They work until they get soaked. Then all it does is clog up the openings on the hearing piece. Ear gear is by far the better of the 2 but they still clog after getting soaked from sweat. After over 25 years of hearing aids the only solution is to take the hearing aids out while doing work outside when it is warm outside. Granted I do not hear anything but at least when I put them back in after being outside I can hear again. I really hate the hearing loss and wish I had never gone in the military where I lost my hearing.

I lost my hearing in the service too but I have no regrets about serving my country. My time in the service paved the way to everything else that I accomplished in my life after the service. I met my first wife, and my son was born. My only regret is that I didn’t know about hearing protection, and that I got out. I often wonder what I would have accomplished if I had stayed in.

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Military did absolutely nothing for me except ruined my hearing and exposed me to agent orange. I was married before I went in and I am still married 50 years later to same woman. I had a job with a business before I went in and went back to same job after I got out. Had I not gone in I would have been doing the same thing. But I would have my hearing and no exposure to agent orange. I did see Vietnam and japan and other places which I would have gladly not seen to keep the hearing. Wife had 5 mis-carrages after I got out due to my exposure to agent Orange. I had 1 1 /2 inches cut off of my Clavical due to deterioration. I am 100 % service connected due strictly to hearing loss. The military did nothing for me except ruin my body. I served my country and I have been paying for it the rest of my life.

My first wife was killed in a wreck in 2002, and I later married to a women that I once felt like was a sister, we have had a great life together. The Navy educated this farm boy and turned him into a professional. I have worked for 2 Presidents, and the likes of Microsoft and Dell computers.

sorry to hear about 1st wife. Sounds like you adjusted to your hearing loss well. I did not due to how profound it is. I would rather be dead than have this bad of hearing loss. I stay alive because of the love of my life since I was 15 years old. When she goes I will be gone right along side her. I cannot talk on a land line phone, Background noise is terrible. rarely I go out because I mis-understand what people are saying. Crouded places are really bad. Word recognition is about 45%. No one should have to live like that. Maybe if I was born deaf if would be different but I was not. I had better than normal hearing and it is gone.

Matt Hay’s article (linked at the top) is interesting, but it was written assuming the user has hearing aids with older technology, user replaceable button batteries. The growing trend towards dispensing aids with built-in rechargeable lithium ion batteries that cannot be replaced by the consumer will increasingly render some of Matt’s advice debatable or moot, and he didn’t discuss how to dry rechargeable aids specifically.

Another Hearing Tracker forum user here has posted that one manufacturer (Phonak?) does not recommend placing their rechargeable aids in a heater-fan dryer, as it would shorten battery life, which is logical. Lithium ion batteries last longest at room temperatures. I live in a semitropical town (very humid year-round), and my audiologist also recommends avoiding these devices with all rechargeable hearing aids.

The Redux vacuum chamber device discussed in the article which does not seem to use heat, and performs a hearing aid drying cycle in a snappy 12 minutes, might be the best way to go for rechargeable aids, but although Matt didn’t say one way or the other, websearching the Redux suggests that it is not available for purchase by consumers, only audiologists, and it looks like it might be cost prohibitive for consumers anyway.

That leaves the rice(??)/dry aid kits/dessicant jars. Dessicants are at least affordable and available to most everyone. Only problem with dessicants for drying rechargeable aids is that they are slow, needing hours to do the job (preferably overnight), and recharging stations don’t fit in the jars. So someone wearing rechargeable aids 16 hours a day and wanting to recharge their aids has to put their charging stations in a big bag of rice(??), or using a dessicant jar, choose which function, dry or recharge, to do, or get up during the night to move the aids. Sometimes new rechargeable aids can go two days without recharging, although it’s a question whether this will work as well in year three as battery life declines. These aids also charge faster than overnight, as in under three hours, so some people may be able to work their aids through both devices during one 24-hour cycle.

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My hearing loss started as the type that is hard to setup to understand speech seeing it is like someone took a bite out of my hearing frequencies right in the middle of the range. Over the last 10 years I am beginning to loss of high frequencies. And to be honest I am finding that the aids are becomig easier to adjust, and to adjust too. It is the years that I knew I had hearing loss and did nothing about it that makes me made now. I could have avoided a lot of the speech understanding issues I have now if I had gotten hearing aids about 20 years earlier than I did. Maybe I would not have had the struggles I had at some of my jobs, and even some of the arguments that I had with friends and family. I have found it all about being thinkful for what I have, and taking control of what I can and not stressing over what I cannot control. I have to say my first wife was the love of my life, we were married 29 years. And she always was someone that told me that if anything happened to her that I had to keep going and to find someone else. After she passed I found a letter she had written to me, on our first anniversary, but she said I was never to open it or read it unless she had passed before me. It flat said that she understood that I was never meant to be alone, and that I was to find someone so I could continue to live. There was also letters to the kids that was written after each of them where born that basically the same thing and told them to support me finding someone else.

Thanks for your comment. I am investigating this and will update the article to reflect the situation with li-ions.

My thoughts are that there is nothing “older technology” about replaceable hearing aid batteries, and no compromise at all on water resistance. Sealing the battery compartment against water getting into the electronics is dead simple. Water does not go through corrosion resistant contacts like electricity does. With a replaceable battery hearing aid, you always have the easy option to cold reboot the aids by simply opening the battery door, instead of having to return them to the charger. They are also easily used in dessicant dryers without the hassle of having to charge and dry your aids at the same time. And providing you keep your spare battery case handy a brand new battery is always close at hand, and can be installed in seconds. I think rechargeable hearing aids are regressive, not a step up. And, I know opinions vary, but I would pay extra to get aids with replaceable batteries, and certainly would not pay more for ones that use rechargeable.

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I appreciate your passion for your preference. I did not mean offense or obsolescence when I used the term “older technology” for user-replaceable batteries. But Sierra: button-battery hearing aids are an older technology for powering aids compared to built-in rechargeable batteries. There used to be one choice. Now there are two. There are enough rechargeable aids around now that the drying strategy may need to be stated differently for those aids; that’s all I was trying to say, not criticize button battery aids.

A year ago I felt as you did. I didn’t think I would ever want rechargeable hearing aids, and I think I posted as much in the forum. I worried that the batteries wouldn’t last the day with heavy Bluetooth use–false for mine anyway, at least in year one, as I have plenty of power to spare late in the day for now. My iPhone 6 which has a year-old replacement lithium ion battery blows through its charge faster on Bluetooth than my aids do, that’s for sure.

I worried that in years three and four when lithium ion batteries start to struggle in electronics (see cell phones and cameras), this would cause problems for me. That remains to be seen. My audiologist showed me that my rechargeable batteries are manufacturer-warranted to hold a charge through year three. In year four and beyond, they are replaceable at a not-high cost through the manufacturer. Of course eventually they will become unavailable for replacement by the manufacturer, but not likely within the span of time I would use my aids anyway. I also live in a tropical storm zone with occasional power outages, so I worried about being able to recharge them in that situation. The chargers also have built-in batteries (like USB power bricks) and store enough juice to recharge the batteries several times even without AC power. And the charger can itself be recharged with USB power bricks, which I have.

When it was time for new aids last year, I discussed it with my audiologist. He told me why his customers who like the rechargeables like them, and I was persuaded. I haven’t been disappointed yet, but it’s early. It’s early in the technology cycle for these devices. Nobody knows yet what will happen with these devices a few years from now. It is perfectly valid to wait and see on rechargeable aids for that reason. Usually Gen2 functions better than Gen1, etc.

There are other obvious advantages of not having to carry spare batteries around and not adding as much to the waste stream. My problem with the carry-a-spare approach was that sometimes the spare was dead when needed due to body heat. There were times when I had to go with one functioning hearing aid. I ran out of power several times a year for one reason or another with button batteries. So far this has not happened with the rechargeables, though of course, it can.

The total cost will be close to comparable over time, I believe. Rechargeable aids cost more upfront at this time and may need a manufacturer repair later; Button batteries are a small ongoing expense and arguable nuisance.

The marketplace will decide. Both may continue to coexist.

Oh, also, you don’t need to place them in the charger to turn them on or off, though that’s the fastest way. You can still do it on mine anyway by pressing and holding the program button. And you may be proven right on the water resistance issue. We’ll see. I do try to keep mine from water exposure, but there is humidity in the air here.

I will think about rechargeable when they come to ITE hearing aids that I find works the best for my hearing loss. Until then I so nothing at all wrong in carrying around extra batteries verse caring around and extra charger.

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I don’t carry the charger around unless I’m traveling, which I don’t do often. And it’s small, fitting in the palm of my hand. I wouldn’t take it to work if I was coming home that night. The one made by ReSound, anyway, is really a very well designed device, compact, easy to use, and highly functional.

I’m glad ITE aids with button batteries work for you and you’re very happy with them…

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