Hot Weather Tips for Hearing Aid Users
HOT weather is coming. HOT weather also brings heat, humidity and air conditioning all of which can wreak havoc on hearing aids. Moisture collects in tubing, corrosion forms on contact points, and ears may produce more wax.
Water is a serious enemy of hearing aids. Moisture can destroy the microphone and the receiver of hearing aids, clog the sound opening or ear mold tubing, and cause corrosion in the hearing aids. Moisture in the hearing aids can cause a static sound or can cause the hearing aids to operate intermittently or not at all. Moisture comes from a variety of sources including perspiration, high humidity, and direct submersion in water. To avoid the damaging effects of moisture, follow these tips:
- Be particularly careful when wearing hearing aids outdoors in wet and rainy weather. Use an umbrella or hat when it is raining.
- Ensure that your hair and ears are dry before you put on your hearing aids.
- If perspiration is excessive, avoid wearing hearing aids during strenuous activity particularly in hot, humid weather.
- If the hearing aids get wet, it is important to remove the battery promptly and let the hearing aids dry out for several hours. If you have a Dri-Aid kit, use it to facilitate drying of the hearing aids.
- Do not use a hot air dryer, oven, clothes dryer, microwave, or other source of heat to dry hearing aids.
Excessive heat can damage your hearing aids. Avoid storing your hearing aids near summertime sources of heat such as a sunny window in your home or your car, or outdoors on a glass topped patio table.
Hearing aids tend to gather bacteria and other microbes more readily during the summer months. An anti-microbial product that can be applied to the hearing aids every few days helps kill off infection causing microbes.
IMPORTANT: Hearing aid batteries are toxic. Keep them away from children and pets, as they are harmful if swallowed. Here are some helpful tips for the care and use of your hearing aid batteries:
- Always carry extra batteries for your hearing aids as batteries tend to die quickly, sometimes unexpectedly
- Do not keep extra batteries loose in your pocket or purse with other coins or metal objects
- Store batteries in a drawer, not in the refrigerator
- For longer battery life especially during the hot and humid months of summer, open the battery compartment or remove the battery from your hearing aids every night
- Do not remove the tab on the hearing aid battery until you plan to use the battery
- Watch for corrosion on the battery. If you notice a white powdery substance on the battery, replace it immediately. Also, check the battery contacts within the hearing aid to assure they are free of corrosion
- Battery contacts may be dried with a dry cotton swab in cases of humid weather or heavy perspiration
We hope these tips about caring for your hearing aids during HOT weather will help you to keep them clean and in proper working order this summer.
Call (08) 9388 8003 / 1800 888 196
Keeping your pet safe from hearing aid hazards
Contributed by Lauren Clason, staff writer for Healthy Hearing | Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
Some dogs will eat anything they can get their paws on: your child’s box of crayons, a forgotten Pop-Tart, the baseboards, or the grease can underneath the grill. Needless to say, their diet isn’t always what it should be, so it’s important to recognize the hazards hearing aids and hearing aid batteries pose to your pet’s health.
Hearing aids are easy enough to swallow and the batteries can pose a significant health risk to anyone or any animal that ingests them. Dogs have been known to chew on and swallow hearing aids, particularly if they’ve shown any interest in or annoyance from the whistling or electronic sounds that a hearing aid emits. Cats could mistake them for a toy and bat them around the house.
If your pet has swallowed hearing aid batteries, there are several symptoms to look for:
•Red and raw tongue, or whitish-gray from dead skin,
•Heavy drooling or vomiting,
•Unusually quiet behaviour or crying, and
•Refusal to eat or extremely slow chewing.
These symptoms can be delayed up to twelve hours. When a dog or cat punctures a battery, the corrosive liquid inside can damage its throat and oesophagus. Charlotte Means, a veterinary toxicologist with the ASPCA, says small amounts of milk can help dilute the liquid if the ingestion was recent. Too much, on the other hand, can cause diarrhoea.
The safest course of action, of course, is to take your pet to the vet. If there are pieces of the hearing aid or battery present in the stomach, surgery may be necessary. Alkaline batteries can cause burns on the tongue, throat and stomach lining. Immediate action is necessary once you’ve discovered your pet has swallowed a battery.
Besides the health risks, there are financial factors to consider. Hearing aids are expensive enough without throwing in the cost of a veterinarian bill; each one can cost anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars. That’s expensive catnip!
Be sure not to leave your hearing aids or batteries out where your pet can get them. Store hearing aids in a secure place out of reach of your pet. Proper storage includes drawers, cabinets and other containers that are closed and inaccessible to both pets and children. Do not leave them out on counters or nightstands where they could be easily knocked off or gobbled up by a furry friend.
Also, make a point of disposing any old hearing aid batteries properly once you replace them. Some businesses offer battery recycling programs. Keep them away from extreme heat and do not dispose of them in a fire, as they could explode and release toxic material.
Due diligence will prevent your pet from a lot of pain and an unwanted trip to the emergency room. While hearing aid manufacturers strive to make their products as safe as possible for everyone, including children and pets, the devices are still small and contain hazardous materials. The majority of batteries today do not contain mercury, but they are still dangerous if swallowed.
If your hearing aid is properly stored, your dog won’t have to learn the hard way that batteries aren’t treats.