What to do if Your Hearing Aid Gets Wet
Unless you have a fully waterproof hearing aid, submerging it in water is a very bad idea – but a very easy mistake to make. Maybe you rationalized that just wading in knee-deep water wouldn’t be a problem or maybe you completely forgot to take it out in your excitement to jump into the coolness of a crystal-clear pool. However the scenario played out, the end result is the same: a wet hearing aid. Before throwing in your beach towel and preparing for a walk of shame to your hearing health professional’s clinic, these crucial steps could save you (and it) from hearing aid repair.
1. Immediately remove the hearing aid and turn it off
Removal is a logical step if the hearing aid stopped working after the water exposure. The tricky thing is that it might not stop working right away, so you might be tempted to assume the it will be okay. The faster you react to an accidental dunking, the greater the chance you’ll be able to save the hearing aid from the damaging effects of moisture, so don’t rationalize – just act.
2. Remove the battery
As soon you take the hearing aid out, remove the battery and leave the compartment door open to air out the terminals. In most cases, the current battery will be no good, so as a precaution, throw it out and retrieve a new one.
3. Remove dirt, sand and surface water
Removing visible moisture and dirt will stop further damage from occurring. If the water it was dunked in is dirty or sandy, you will want to wipe it carefully before drying to avoid rubbing debris further inside it.
4. Dry It: makeshift solutions
If you don’t have immediate access to a hearing aid dryer (one reason you should always carry a portable version with you), here are a few other options:
- lay it on newspaper in a well-ventilated area
- place it near a lamp or other (VERY mild) heat source to speed the drying process
- place it in a sealed container with uncooked rice or silica gel
- Use a very cool fan or dryer
Letting the hearing aid dry out for up to 48 hours is best, if you can wait that long. When the moment of truth arrives, don’t feel discouraged if it’s not working. Visit your hearing healthcare professional as soon as possible to see if anything can be done. If not, your warranty will most likely cover replacement and you’ll have a new one within a few weeks.
As frustrating as the loss and inconvenience is, a wet hearing aid does not have to be the end of your hearing health. Many hearing professionals are able to repair a hearing device in their office. In the event the malfunction is severe, your hearing provider may have to send your hearing aid to the manufacturer for repair.