Dr. Lance F. Greer, Audiologist
Now that summer is in full swing, care and maintenance of your hearing investment is important to assure that you maintain good hearing. Here in the desert southwest the temperatures can reach well into the 100’s and humidity is quite low. However due to the low humidity, there are 5 things I would encourage you do or to watch out for.
1) Avoid placing your hearing aids in direct sunlight particularly in a car. Windows in a car can act as a magnifying glass and with the right glare, focused light causes extreme heat, which can literally warp and damage sensitive computer chip components inside your hearing devices. Also the batteries may have a greater chance to produce corrosion that can damage battery contacts and internal electronic components.
2) Remember to remove your hearing devices prior to taking the plunge into the a swimming pool. Failure to do so will most likely short them out. Several years ago, I had a patient who dove into his pool and as he hit the water, he knew he had forgotten to take his devices off. After a 10-minute search, both units were found and recovered from the bottom of the pool. Fortunately in this patient’s case, his devices were still covered under his repair warranty, so we were able to send them in for repair and had him back in good hearing order within days. Just remember, if you do get your hearing aids wet, open the battery door, remove the battery and even put in a small Tupperware container with white rice. This will usually remedy the problem and they will function within 12-24 hours. If they don’t you will need to bring them in to our office for a more comprehensive review.
3) If you sweat a lot in the summer heat you may need an electric dehumidifier. There is an increased chance of perspiring behind the ears and even in the ear canals. Such perspiration can quickly damage the internal components because of its saltiness. Even here in the desert, perspiration and humidity, particularly when the “monsoon” storms start, can have an effect on the performance of your devices. If your hearing instrument works great in the morning hours but tends to fade and get softer as the day progresses, then you may want to come in and look at our electric dehumidifiers.
4) Sunscreen has oils in it that can be damaging to hearing aids and even ear molds. Take extra precaution when applying sunscreen oils or sprays before that trip to the beach or pool! It would be best to apply these protective products and wait 15 minutes for your body to absorb these oils prior to putting your hearing devices back on.
5) Brush, Brush and more brushing. Each night be sure to take a little brush or designated cleaning brush and thoroughly brush over the microphone and speaker components of the your hearing devices. With the wind that is common here in our area and the dust that is created, the brushing you do will keep the tiny dust particles out of out of the sensitive internal components of your devices. This will assure that you will get the maximum performance and life longevity from your devices.
From our family here at Advanced Hearing & Balance Specialists to you, we wish you a great and successful summer and hope that you are able to get a way and go on a road trip or two and build some good memories.
Advanced Hearing & Balance Specialists has been providing audiology services for more than 40 years and specialize in adult and pediatric care. Our five clinical audiologists have over 64 years of experience serving the communities of St. George, Cedar City, Mesquite, Hurricane, Beaver, Milford, Delta, Fillmore, Panguitch, and Overton, making it convenient for you to receive the highest levels of hearing and balance care. We always put our patient’s concerns first, matching each individual’s needs with the treatments and tools, which fit their lifestyle. For more information go to http://www.hearingaiddoctor.com/