What to Do if Your Hearing Aid Gets WetPublished On: May 22, 2019
Nearly 17% of American adults have some degree of hearing loss.
Imagine yourself at the sink. You’re brushing your teeth–there’s water sitting in the sink. You remove your hearing aid to get ready to clean it.
It slips out of your hand and drops into the sink water.
What do you do now?
Hearing aids are expensive–the average person pays $2,710 out of pocket for them. However, all hope is not lost. If your hearing aid gets wet, there are steps you can take to minimize damage and get them working again.
Want to learn more? Keep reading to see what you can do if your hearing aid gets wet.
How Can Moisture Damage a Hearing Aid?
Hearing aids have electronic components which can be damaged by water or moisture. Water can damage or corrode the battery.
Even moisture from everyday activities can damage your hearing aid. If you live in a humid environment and you sweat a lot, that moisture can get in your hearing aid.
You should also be careful to not handle your hearing aid after just washing your hands or taking a shower. Be sure to dry off your hands completely. Also, if you just applied lotion, make sure your hands are dry so that lotion residue does not transfer to your hearing aid.
Also, be wary of where you set your hearing aid down. Don’t put it near the bathroom sink or a wet surface. When you work out, wear a sweatband to absorb moisture so that it doesn’t get to your hearing aid.
What You Can Do If Your Hearing Aid Gets Wet
The damage has been done. Maybe you dropped your hearing aid in the sink full of water. Or maybe you jumped into your pool forgetting to remove them.
Here’s what you need to do if your hearing aid gets wet.
1. Remove the Battery
The first thing you need to do is turn off your hearing aid and remove the battery.
You want to avoid having the water reach the battery which will cause it to corrode. If you leave a wet battery in your hearing aid, it can damage other electronic parts. The best thing to do is to toss or recycle the batteries.
2. Dry the Hearing Aid
The next thing to do is dry your hearing aid. If you dropped your hearing aid in soap-filled water, you might want to rinse it first to remove residue.
Next, shake your hearing aid gently to remove any excess water. Then, dry it with a paper towel gently.
Lay out the hearing aid on a towel or newspaper. Now, you have a few different options for how to dry your hearing aid.
Dry with a Lamp
You can place close to a table lamp to help dry faster. However, make sure not to put your hearing aid too close to the light bulb because the heat can damage the hearing aid.
Dry with a Hair Dryer
Another option is to dry with a hairdryer at the lowest or cool setting. Don’t place the hair dryer too close to the hearing aid.
One more thing you can try: take some uncooked rice and place in a small plastic bag. Place your hearing aid in the rice and close the bag. The rice acts as a dehumidifier and absorbs the water.
Use a Hearing Aid Dehumidifier
If you have a hearing aid dehumidifier, you can place your hearing aid there to dry as well.
A hearing aid dehumidifier–also called a hearing aid dryer–is a storage container where you can place your hearing aid to dry in. It’s recommended as a part of your daily hearing aid care. It’s especially recommended in humid climates where you need a dry place to store your aid.
There are electric hearing aid dryers and nonelectric ones. Some contain a gel or desiccant to absorb moisture.
Leave Your Hearing Aids to Dry At Least 24 Hours
Whichever drying option you take, make sure to allow your hearing aid to dry for at least 24 hours. Two days is probably a better option.
After your hearing aid is dry, you can try using it by placing in a new battery and turning it on. If it still doesn’t work, allow it to dry a little longer.
3. Consult with an Audiologist
If you’ve tried all the above but the hearing aid still won’t work, you should consult with an audiologist or contact your hearing aid provider to see what steps you need to take. You might need to send the hearing aid in for repairs.
Take a look at your hearing aid warranty to check if it covers the water damage. If not, you can check how much it will cost you to fix your hearing aid.
What Not To Do If Your Hearing Aid Gets Wet
Here’s what not to do to avoid further damage to your hearing aid.
Don’t Put It In the Microwave
Don’t use a microwave to dry your hearing aid. The heat will melt and ruin the parts of the aid.
Don’t Throw It Away
Don’t automatically think the hearing aid is ruined and throw it away. Allow it to dry first and see if it’s working.
Additional Tips for Caring for Your Hearing Aid
It’s important to maintain a daily care routine and take care of your hearing aids. You should do listening checks daily to make sure there are no issues with sound or feedback.
You should also keep your hearing aids clean from ear wax buildup and check the batteries regularly.
And of course, after you fix your hearing aids or get them repaired, be sure to keep them away from moisture so that they don’t get wet.
Need help with hearing aid issues? Check out our hearing aid problems blog.