Like many technologies, hearing aids that aren't waterproof aren't supposed to get wet. Water can damage your hearing aid whether it got slightly damp or completely soaked. The best course of action if your hearing aid is damaged in any way is to visit your hearing care professional who has tools to examine and repair your hearing aid if necessary. When that isn't possible, you can still dry it out and get it working again on your own if you act quickly enough.
- Turn Off and Remove Battery: As soon as possible, turn off the hearing aid. This shuts off the electronic circuits inside, which makes water damage much less likely; electronics can survive some moisture if the circuits aren't active. Also remove the battery, and if the battery is wet, throw it away. The battery can eventually corrode, and it's not worth it to risk putting a damp battery back inside the hearing aid.
- Dry Off Outside: Gently shake out your hearing aid to remove as much water as possible, then use a soft cloth to dry the outside of the aid. You might not get everything, but that's okay. Don't force the cloth inside to try to dry anything beyond your reach.
- Use Hearing Aid Dryer: If you've owned your hearing aids for a while, or if your hearing care professional recommended one, you may have access to a hearing aid dryer. This is specifically designed to dry out hearing aids, often recommended for those who live in humid environments or people who sweat heavily. If you have access to one, put your wet hearing aid inside and use it as you've been directed. This may require you to leave your hearing aids in overnight. Just don't try to rush it; if there is any water left inside when you try to turn it back on, that could ruin it.
- Set Out to Dry: If you don't have a dryer, you can always set it out to dry as you would another electronic device. You can also place it in rice or hearing aid dessicant overnight, which helps remove the moisture from the inside. Leave the battery compartment open while you do this.
- Power It Up: After roughly 24 hours, place a new battery in the compartment and turn on your hearing aid. If you notice any problems, turn it off and remove the battery immediately.
Even if everything is working fine after you turn it back on, it's best to get it looked at by your hearing care professional as soon as you can, just in case. Hearing aids can get expensive, and if there is any water damage left in your hearing aid, it could get worse over time and force you to replace it.
What Not To Do
- When drying out your hearing aid, don't use a hair dryer or anything that directs concentrated heat at the hearing aid. The heat can be just as harmful as water, and will affect the aid whether it is turned on or off. You can place it in front of a house vent since that air is gentler, but using rice or dessicant is a better idea.
- Don't try to take your hearing aid apart to dry it out faster or more effectively. Removing the battery cover should suffice, and the dessicant or rice will be extremely effective in pulling the moisture out of all its internal components.
For more information, contact a local hearing aid supplier, like Pacific Hearing Care.