As small electronic devices, hearing aids are just as sensitive to water as any other piece of electronic equipment. A wet hearing aid is not a happy hearing aid. Unfortunately, however, the circumstances of daily life mean that at some point, your hearing aid will inevitably come into contact with water, potentially leading to damage.
Water damage is a serious issue. Not only can it put your hearing aid out of action, but these devices can be expensive to replace. What should you do, therefore, if your hearing aid becomes wet?
Step 1: Don’t panic
The first step is not to panic: although water and hearing aids don’t usually mix, dropping your hearing aid in a drink, a puddle or down the toilet isn’t necessarily the end of the world – there’s a chance that the device could be saved.
First, you’ll want to check the manufacturer’s information to see whether the hearing aid is “waterproof.” Note that waterproof means something different from “water-resistant.” A waterproof hearing aid can withstand full submersion in water indefinitely, while a water-resistant one cannot. Water resistance just means that your hearing aid can cope with high moisture environments, like the bathroom, or you can wear it in the rain.
If you discover that your hearing aid is NOT waterproof, the next step is to ensure that you follow a process to ensure that you get the water out of the system quickly, without damaging any of the sensitive internal components (which could be in direct contact with water droplets).
Step 2: Remove the hearing aids from water
The less time that assistive hearing devices remain in the water, the better. Fish them out as fast as possible (hopefully, you’ve done this already before reading this article). The quicker you can get your hearing aids out of the water, the better. Quick reactions can prevent water from seeping deeper into the device and affecting more of the internal components.
Step 3: Turn it off
Once you’ve got your hearing aid out of the water, turn it off. Turning it off will stop the electrical current from passing through the internal circuits of the device which could be shorted by water droplets.
Step 4: Dry the main components
Once switched off, dry the main components, including the battery, battery compartment, tube and battery door. Drying will prevent corrosion or damage to the surrounding metal and sensitive exterior parts. Use a clean cloth or towel for this step. Gently shake the device to encourage water inside the microphone and speaker sections to come out.
Step 5: Leave to dry
Choose a dry, water-free location and leave the hearing aid to dry naturally. Leaving the battery door open encourages additional evaporation. If you have a dehumidifier chamber, then place it in that to help encourage moisture to leach out more quickly.
Step 6: Wait
It could take a couple of days for your hearing aid to dry out thoroughly. Waiting is essential. You need to give the water in your hearing aid enough time to leave the device before replacing the battery and switching it on again. Using your device too soon could lead to additional damage to the hearing aid and reduce functionality below acceptable levels.
Step 7: Re-insert the battery and test
Finally, re-insert the battery, switch on the hearing aid, and see if it works. Hopefully, it should perform just like it did before it got wet. Check all the various settings to see whether you can adjust the volume and amplification settings as you could before. The hearing aid shouldn’t crackle or make a popping sound.
If you can’t get it working, visit your hearing care provider
Sometimes, you can’t fix water damage at home using DIY methods. In these cases, you need the help of an audiologist or hearing instrument specialist to determine whether you can rescue the hearing aid.
If you’ve dropped your hearing aid in water or it has become wet, then get in touch with one of our hearing professionals at 1-888-553-7520.