Now that we’re in the midst of the summer heat—with some places experiencing record high temperatures—we thought it might be a good time to remind everyone that extreme heat can damage or even destroy your hearing aids and hearing aid batteries. Although it is possible for the plastic casing on your hearing aids to melt in high heat, it’s more likely that your hearing aids will be damaged in unseen ways. For example, high heat can damage the internal electronics and drastically reduce your battery life.
How Hot is too Hot?
Hearing aids are meant to be worn behind and inside your ear where they are usually shaded from direct heat. In fact, most heat damage to hearing aids happens when people take them out. Here is a list of things to avoid:
Don’t leave hearing aids in the sun
For example, if you go for a swim, don’t place your hearing aids on a table or a towel in the direct sunlight. This is especially true if you live in an extremely hot and arid environment.
Don’t leave your hearing aids in a hot car
Depending on where you live (and if the windows are rolled up or down) temperatures inside a hot car can reach 120 degrees or more (even in the glove box)! That may not be enough to melt plastic, but that’s far above the normal operation temperature for hearing aids. At that temperature you may risk damaging the internal electronics, and batteries can lose their charge as a result of the extreme heat—drastically limiting the life of your batteries.
Don’t use a hair dryer to dry hearing aids
Or a microwave, or an oven, or any high heat source…. People are more likely to go swimming and sweat during the summer, increasing the likelihood that hearing aids will get wet. If this happens, you may be tempted to dry out your hearing aids quickly with artificial heat. Don’t do it! Far too many people find themselves with melted hearing aids after trying to dry their hearing aids in novel ways.
How to Avoid Heat Damage to Hearing Aids
The best way to avoid heat damage is simply to make sure your hearing aids are always stored in a cool dry place, like in their case or a drawer next to your bed. If you are out and about, make sure to bring the case with you. If you have to take them out of your ears while in hot weather, make sure to put them in the case and that the case stays inside a bag or under a towel, so it won’t heat up too much.
Further, to dry off wet hearing aids, simply wipe them off and open the battery doors to let them dry naturally or use a dehumidifier. (If you have questions about dehumidifiers, talk to your provider. They’ll provide guidance on the right dehumidifier for your lifestyle and climate.)
Following the above guidelines and suggestions can help keep your hearing aids cool, all summer long.