Hearing aids are small and delicate, so deciding how you will keep them safe is one of the most important things you can do. Here are three tips that will help you protect them from loss and damage.
1. Develop a Routine
Because of their small size, hearing aids are easy to misplace. It’s common for people to set them down and forget where they left them. The best way to prevent this is to develop the habit of putting them in the same location every time you take them off. Here are a few suggested locations:
- On your dresser
- On the bedside table
- In a drawer
- In a case in your bag or purse
As long as you routinely put them in the same place when you take them off, it will help to ensure you don’t lose them. TIP: If you have smartphone-compatible hearing aids, the app on your phone can help you find them if you misplace them. Just use the “Find My Hearing Aids” feature in the hearing aid smartphone app.
2. Store Them Securely
Wherever you choose to keep your hearing aids when not in use, make sure the location is protected from potential hazards. Store them in a padded case, jewelry compartment, a drying cup, or a hearing aid dryer that will protect them from dust, moisture, or other damage. If you have pets or small children in your home, you may also need to place your hearing aids out of reach. Dogs and cats can chew or swallow hearing aids. Dogs may be attracted by the smell of your skin oils or high-pitched sounds emitted by your hearing aids you may not even hear. Cats may see your hearing aid as a toy. Small children are also naturally curious and can break a hearing aid by playing with it. Plus, a hearing aid presents a choking hazard if swallowed. Hearing aid batteries are dangerous as well. In case of ingestion, you should contact doctor immediately and call the 24 Hour National Button Battery Ingestion Hotline at (202) 625-3333. NEVER store hearing aids in these locations:
- Refrigerator or freezer
- In direct sunlight
- In your car
3. Keep Them Dry
Even though most hearing aids are manufactured with a protective nano-coating that helps protect against water, moisture is still their biggest enemy. If you live in humid environment, it’s a good practice to store your hearing aids in a special container to dry them out when not in use. There are different types of hearing aid dryers.
- Dehumidifiers: These are usually a container with a desiccant pad or gel that draws moisture out of the device. They’re inexpensive and can usually be purchased for under $20.
- Hearing Aid Dryer: A more robust solution is an electronic case with drying and sanitizing functions, which is ideal for more humid location. They are generally available for $50-100.
If your hearing aids get wet, dry them as thoroughly as possible with a soft cloth then place them in your desiccant container or hearing aid dryer. If you don’t have a hearing aid dryer or dehumidifier, a quick fix is to place your hearing aids in a container filled with uncooked rice, which will draw the moisture out of the electronic components naturally. NEVER use a blow dryer or put them in the microwave or toaster oven to dry them out; heat or microwave radiation will destroy the delicate electronics. TIPS:
- Don’t store hearing aids in a bathroom cabinet or other location with high humidity
- Remember to take them off before you shower or wash your face
- When working or exercising, wear a sweatband to absorb excess moisture or remove them if they are not necessary for the activity
Good habits and safe storage practices will help your hearing aids continue to serve you well for many years to come.