Summertime Tips

Welcome to summertime, Minnesotans! It’s that wonderful time of year when we all remember outside exists and is GLORIOUS! But with the glory also comes questions about how best to keep hearing aids in tip-top shape as the heat rises.

With that being said, we are here to help! We address five common situations you may need to combat during summer with some helpful suggestions to keep your hearing aids in the best condition.

Situation 1 – Moisture:
a. It’s in the air, it’s behind your ears – moisture is EVERYWHERE, and as we all know, moisture can be considered the villain to a hearing aid’s hero status.
b. What can you do to combat moisture?
i. When they’re not in your ears, keep the hearing instruments in a cool, dry place – potentially even a dehumidifier or in a container with a desiccant pack (which can be purchased through your audiologist!)
ii. If you’re going to be doing something where you’re highly active (working out, working in the yard, swimming [ESPECIALLY swimming]) – take the hearing aids out, and leave them in the aforementioned cool, dry, place
iii. When taking the hearing aids out of your ear’s wipe them down with a dry cloth – if you see any moisture or debris present near the microphones, try your best to brush the moisture away from there
iv. Finally – if you’re noticing issues with your hearing aid that you feel may be related to moisture – come in and see your audiologist!

Situation 2 – Heat:
a. Just like any other piece of electronics, hearing aids are susceptible to extreme temperatures – that includes the internal electronics, as well as the zinc air, Z-power, or lithium-ion rechargeable atteries that are available in hearing aids.
b. When they’re having to combat truly terrible temperatures, hearing aids may not function at their peak performance level. Particularly if you’re going to be taking them out – be sure to put them either in a travel case, or inside, in a cool, dry location.
c. Do NOT leave them sitting in direct sunlight for long stretches of time – if your cell phone doesn’t like to overheat, neither do your hearing aids!

Situation 3 – Yardwork:
a. Common question during the summer months: Can I wear my hearing aids while mowing the lawn/gardening?
i. See above – if you’re going to be active in the garden, it may be best to leave the hearing aids inside where they are cool and safe – both from a moisture and heat standpoint.
b. Another consideration for the garden – if you’re going to be using any type of power tool (lawnmower, weed whipper, etc.), you should really trade in those hearing aids for hearing protection, and keep your remaining hearing safe!

Situation 4 – Accidentals:
a. So, your family or friends thought it would be hilarious to take you for a dip in the lake, but forgot you had your hearing aids in – what do you do now?
i. First things first: remain calm!

  1. Once you get back on dry land, get those hearing aids out of your ears.
  2. If you have battery doors that open, now is the time to open battery doors, and take the battery out. Let the hearing aids lie flat with the battery doors open to dry out!
    a. If you have rechargeable hearing aids, and don’t have battery doors that open, DON’T try to open them. Just lay them flat and let them dry.
  3. If you have a dehumidifier or a container with a desiccant in it, go ahead and get the hearing aids in there and let them stay there for a few hours.
  4. Do NOT panic and try to dry the hearing aids with a hair dryer, or any other kind of tool that dries things other than hearing aids – that is how you end up with wet AND melted plastic that used to be a hearing aid
    ii. And finally – call your audiologist and schedule a hearing aid check, to make sure everything is as it should be

Situation 5 – Vacation
a. Before you leave on the fabulous vacation you have planned, whether it be overseas or up north, there are a few things you should double-check that are in your suitcase:
i. Batteries

  1. If you have the kind of hearing aids that use batteries, you should make sure to bring an extra pack when you go on vacation – it’s like an extra set of contacts, or a backup pair of glasses – better safe than sorry!
  2. If you have the kind of hearing aids that use a charger – make sure you have the right cords!
    ii. A travel case
  3. Here is a rule of thumb that is accurate ALL the time, but is especially important when traveling: if the hearing aids are not in your ears, they should be in your case.
  4. Let me say it again for those in the back: IF THE HEARING AIDS ARE NOT IN YOUR EARS, THEY SHOULD BE IN A CASE
    ii. What to do if you have a hearing aid issue out of town
  5. First things first again – we are still remaining calm!
  6. If it’s within normal business hours, call your audiologist. They may be able to walk you through troubleshooting the problem over the phone, or find an appropriate referral for you wherever you are.
  7. In the worst case scenario, if you’re unable to find an appropriate referral or resolve the issue over the phone, you may have to put your hearing aids in a safe place (like their case), and keep them there until you can get home and get to your audiologist

Here’s your bottom line for summer: go have fun! If things go wrong and you need some help, stop in and see us at Andros Audiology and Hearing Aid Center, or give us a call at 651-888-7800.

Happy summer, everyone!

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