What is a Hearing Aid Dryer?

 You may never have heard of a hearing aid dryer, but all hearing aid owners should have one. Here is what a hearing aid dryer is, and what it is used for.

A hearing aid dryer is a small device that is used to keep moisture from damaging a hearing aid.

hearing aid dryer
This hearing aid dryer uses UV light to remove moisture from a hearing aid.

Hearing aids are essentially mini computers that evaluate complex environments, process sound and apply amplification to account for an individual’s hearing loss. The microchip inside of the hearing aid is susceptible to moisture, and for anyone who has ever been caught in a rain storm with their smartphone or laptop, they know that moisture and electronics don’t mix well.

While some hearing aid manufactures engineer anti-moisture features into their hearing devices, they can’t prevent all moisture from getting into them. Special seals around open ports are created when a hearing aid is manufactured. A coating is also added to the entire device to help stop moisture from getting into the hearing aid and causing damage.

Still, hearing devices need certain ports open so sound can get into the hearing aid. This also allows the sound to exit the device and enter the wearer’s ear. When moisture gets into a hearing aid, the components inside begin to corrode. This built-up moisture can be very damaging, causing corrosion of battery contacts, hinges and other components. The damage can be a slow process, but over time the hearing aids will begin to malfunction.

The best way to help prevent excessive moisture from corroding the components in the hearing aids is to draw out the moisture from the device using an appliance called a hearing aid dryer.

How to use a hearing aid dryer:

To use a hearing aid dryer, simply place your hearing aids in the hearing aid dryer overnight. The device draws out the moisture from the components and keeps the devices functioning properly for many years. There are three primary technologies in hearing aid dryers that give them the ability to dry a hearing aid. 

Desiccant beads

This non-electric dryer uses desiccant beads (beads that absorb water) to draw moisture out of an environment. If you have ever opened up a new electronic gadget and found a small package of beads inside with the device then you’ve encountered desiccant beads. Electronics makers use the beads to protect electronics from moisture when they are placed in packaging before they reach the consumer.  Desiccant beads in a hearing aid dryer collect moisture. They become saturated over time and become less effective. However, they can be can be dried out in a microwave and used again. 

Dry bricks

A hearing aid dryer that uses dry bricks are similar to ones that use desiccant beads, however they last longer. They only need to be replaced every few months, but the advantage is they can draw out more moisture than the beads.

UV lights

A hearing aid dryer that uses UV light technology is the most effective and also least expensive over time. The dryer plugs into the wall, and this powers the bulb inside that emits ultraviolet light. UV light eliminates moisture. It also kills germs like viruses and bacteria, so it does double duty when used on a hearing aid. Ultraviolet light is light radiation that is from the violet part of the light spectrum (learn more at LiveScience.com). If you have ever seen a black light that creates a glow effect on some materials, then you’ve seen ultraviolet light in action. (If you own a handheld cat urine detector, it also uses ultraviolet light). UV light is also a natural part of sunlight that causes skin to tan.

Ultraviolet light is a component of sunlight
Ultraviolet light is a component of sunlight

Since the UV light in a hearing aid dryer is contained inside a closed container with a protective lid, it is not harmful to anyone that uses it. A hearing aid dryer that uses ultraviolet light lasts for a very long time, because it does not contain consumable drying  beads or block that need to be replaced periodically. 

Which hearing aid dryer type is most effective?

From a long term cost perspective, the UV light hearing aid dryer is most effective. Up front cost is under $100 typically, and it uses very little electricity. The small upfront investment can provide years of protection for your hearing aids. It is also a fraction of the cost of hearing aid dryers that use replaceable drying compounds.   

Where to buy a hearing aid dryer

You can buy a hearing aid dryer from your local audiologist’s office. You can also call us at Wholesale Hearing Aid, and we can arrange to  provide one for you at a discount price. Click here to inquire, or call us at 1-800-609-2988