It’s safe to say that most people in Phoenix are used to dealing with heat. You probably have a few tried-and-true strategies for keeping cool during the summer months (and the electric bills to prove it), but if you’re hearing-impaired, you have to take steps to protect your hearing aids from the hot desert sun, too. Hint: a dash through the sprinkler is not a good option.
Heat & Hearing Aids Don’t Mix
Heat isn’t only bad for that pint of ice cream melting on the way home from the store. It can also wreak havoc with sensitive electronic equipment. Bad news: hearing aids are sensitive electronic equipment. Good news: the following tips will help keep them safe from scorching summertime temperatures.
- Avoid the sun. Vampires aren’t the only ones who must stay out of the sun in order to function properly. Think about the effects of those ultraviolet rays on your skin – hearing aids fare no better. They might not wrinkle or blister, but their plastic casing can melt, and the internal circuitry can quit working if they are exposed to direct sunlight for more than a few minutes at a time. To prevent damage, wear a wide-brimmed hat when you are outside, and bring along a protective case if you are planning on spending a significant amount of time outdoors – even if you find a spot beneath the shadiest tree you can find. Because…
- Heat can cause problems, too. When summertime temps soar into the triple digits, even a spot in the shade can prove to be too much. If you think stowing them in the glove compartment for an hour or two is a good idea, think again. The temperature inside a parked vehicle can soar well over 120 degrees, even with the windows cracked – enough to cause permanent damage to your hearing aids, not to mention negatively affect their battery performance. If you absolutely must take them out of your ears, leave them at home.
- Stay away from moisture sources. Sunshine and heat aren’t the only threats to your hearing aids during the summertime. If moisture seeps inside, it can cause a short-circuit or other permanent damage. If you are planning to go swimming, don’t forget to remove them before diving into the pool or lake. And when summer monsoon season rolls around, be prepared with an umbrella! If you are caught outdoors in a sudden downpour, stow your hearing aids in a dry purse or backpack (or pocket, if all else fails). Even excess humidity can cause problems, so you might want to think about buying a dehumidifier to dry them out when not in use.
- Beware of chemicals. Chances are, you apply sprays and lotions all the time without even thinking about the chemicals they contain. We aren’t suggesting you stop wearing sunscreen or give up hairspray – just be sure to take your hearing aids out before using these and other products.
If you’re looking for more ways you can keep your hearing aids safe from harm – during the summer or any time of the year – your Phoenix audiologist is happy to give you some pointers!