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The Importance of Keeping Hearing Aids Dry

If you own hearing aids, a hearing aid dryer is a must-have. Think about other electronic devices you own – your cell phone, your smart TV, your stereo system. Imagine if you left these devices outside all day, every day, exposed to all the elements. How long would they last? 

Your hearing aids are expensive, complex electronic devices exposed to that same environment every single day. If you live in a humid or wet environment, such as coastal climates, being able to dry your hearing aid becomes even more important. Plus, unlike your TV, you put your hearing aids inside your ears, exposing them to body oils, dirt, bacteria and sweat.

Benefits of Hearing Aid Dryers

Hearing aids cost more than that fabulous smart TV. If you wouldn’t leave your TV outside, you definitely need a solution for protecting your hearing aids. Hearing aid dryers are an easy and affordable solution, with benefits such as:

  • Minimize damage and repairs
  • Extend the lifespan of your hearing aids
  • Sanitize the devices with ultraviolet (UV) rays or chemical sanitation 
  • Prevent complications like itching and bacterial infections

Types of Hearing Aid Dryers

There are two main types of hearing aid dryers, which may also be called a hearing aid dry box or hearing aid dehumidifier:

  • Non-electronic dryers use a gel to absorb moisture or a desiccant (moisture absorbing material).
    • Can be slow, but are more affordable
  • Electronic dryers use an electric power source to dry hearing aids using heat, a fan, or a desiccant.
    • More features built in, such as disinfectants, deodorizers, and timers
    • More expensive than non-electronic dryers, but still rather affordable ($100 range)

How to Choose the Best Dryer

When comparing dryers, consider your lifestyle and needs. 

  • Do you travel a lot? There are dryers made specifically for travel and some that work well for both home and travel use. You may even want a home dryer and one to keep in your suitcase if you travel very frequently and don’t want to forget it at home.
  • Do you have trouble with fine motor skills that might make a certain dryer harder to operate? Some dryers have an easy one-touch open and close door with a large opening. These are especially helpful if you suffer from arthritis.
  • Do your batteries tend to die at the worst times? Look for a dryer with a built-in battery tester.
  • Do you prefer environmentally friendly products? You may prefer a dryer that does not use chemical desiccants and only heat instead. Some dryers are disposable, so you may wish to avoid those as well.
  • Are you worried about ear infections or get frequent infections? Look for a dryer that has a germicidal cycle and UV lamp.
  • Do you want to leave your batteries in while drying? Not all dryers possess this option. 
  • Do you want storage space to keep all your accessories? This may not be the best travel choice, but if you like having all your hearing aid accessories in one spot, this type of device is perfect for you.
  • Do you have rechargeable hearing aids? You should consider a dryer with a short drying time.

For simplicity of comparing the basics, the best hearing aid dryers available utilize anti-germicidal UV lights and warm air currents, whereas the more budget-friendly dryers often combine fans and chemical desiccants.

How to Keep Hearing Aids Dry: Tips for Using Your Dryer

Whatever choice you make, you’ll want to protect your dryer just like you protect your hearing aids. The better you take care of your dryer, the better it will take care of your devices! 

  • Use your dryer immediately if your hearing aids are exposed to more water than normal humidity or sweating, such as if you accidentally get in the shower with them on or dive in a pool. Your devices need to go through one drying cycle after the water exposure and you will need to replace the batteries.
  • Leave the battery door open while using the dryer. Air needs to circulate throughout the battery compartment. You can leave the batteries inside the hearing aid unless your dryer instructs you to take them out. 
  • Replace the gel, desiccants or throw away your dryer by the expiration date. If it has passed the expiration date, it is no longer drying your devices. Tip: write the expiration date on the device itself or put a reminder in your phone or on your calendar.
  • Use your dryer every night. This may be difficult if you have rechargeable hearing aids that need to be placed in their charger overnight, which may guide your choice of dryer to one with a short cycle.

Moisture is everywhere and no matter how carefully you protect your hearing aids, that moisture will dramatically affect your devices without a dryer. Using a hearing aid dryer consistently and properly will maintain the reliability and functioning of your hearing aid investment.
If your hearing aid is damaged due to moisture or water, or if you’re looking for new or upgraded hearing aids, contact one of our audiologists today. We are here to help answer your questions and keep your devices working at their peak performance.