Moisture Issues and Your Hearing Aids

Have you ever ….

• randomly heard a ‘beeping’ sound from your hearing aid throughout the day?
• had your hearing aid go dead, but if you open & close the battery door it works again?
• noticed the sound from the hearing aid gets softer as the day goes on?
• heard an occasional static sound from your hearing aids?

If you answered yes to any of these questions one likely reason is moisture!!  The weather conditions in the average ear canal are harsh and unfavorable for the survival of electronic devices.  The temperature in the ear canal actually increases the closer you get to the eardrum and the average humidity in a normal ear canal is 40-70% (R.F. Gray, A. Sharma, S.L. Vowler (2005). Relative humidity of the external auditory canal in normal and abnormal ears, and its pathogenic effect. Clinical Otolaryngology, 30 (2), 105–111, April 2005).

Moisture can affect the components of your hearing aids by limiting the movement of the microphone and/or receiver diaphragm and damage the wires inside the aid which in turn affects the conduction of the electrical signals.  Moisture on the circuitry can cause a variety of sound quality and performance issues.  Even if the hearing aid and the ear canal look clean and dry, it’s the condensation and humidity inside the hearing aid that you should be concerned about.  Keep in mind that moisture combined with dust, earwax or skin debris can form a sticky paste that wreaks havoc with hearing aids!  Everyone can benefit from using a drying unit every night to avoid moisture causing performance issues with your hearing aid.