What are the differences between Dry Brik and Metal Can for storing hearing aids and implants?
Dry Brik is a very efficient desiccant that removes organic odours as well as moisture however when spent it cannot be regenerated by heating in an oven. The metal can desiccant is less aggressive and does not remove organics; when the crystals change colour they can be reactivated by heating in the oven at 105–150C for 2 hours. Heat and moving air within a sealed compartment make the drying process more effective and quicker. Dry & Store also has a UV lamp killing 99% of common bacteria found in the external ear canal, scalp and hair. Most electronic devices benefit from Dry & Store treatment – some users put their mobile phones in as well as hearing devices.
I was given a Dry Store Kit when I was switched on and used it nightly for my processor. Others use the Siemens Replacement Drying Capsules in an airtight carry case. What is the difference between these drying procedures?
It doesn't matter how it's done, as long as something is done to extend the life of your hearing device. The key is to make sure it isn't just left to lie on the bedside table or dresser. The Dry Store Kit is the 5 star treatment, with the light to kill to bacteria from earmoulds and the fan to draw out moisture. Or you could chose a simple air-tight container with a capsule of silica gel which works very well (and isn't as noisy for a sleeping partner if you want to keep it next to you rather than in another room). You do need to be vigilant that the silica crystals are still darkly coloured and moisture absorbent. The cost of each method is a personal issue, as there are disposable and reusable options for the crystals. It is worth remembering that the new CP810 processor with its shiny coating should not be exposed to the light in the Dry Aid Kit. It is a matter of simply removing the light bulb and using it as usual. Silica crystals are active when blue.
The “conventional wisdom” is to take the batteries out of your hearing aid or cochlear implant before putting the device into the Dry&Store. But I have found items on the internet claiming that batteries should in fact be put in the Dry&Store and indeed that battery life is actually increased. I’ve also heard people say that spent cochlear implant batteries kept for a while or overnight in the Dry&Store can be used again for a few hours and can even power low current devices like LED torches for some time. Are any or all of these claims true?
Dry and Store is an electrical appliance intended for use every night for the care and maintenance of hearing instruments of all types. Dry & Store's patented process combines gentle heat with a super-absorbent desiccant to completely remove damaging moisture. When Dry & Store was first introduced in 1997, the protocol was to remove batteries when placing hearing aids in the conditioning unit. However, comments from users who “admitted” they had not removed their batteries seemed to notice longer battery life. In 1998, Energizer conducted tests and found that leaving batteries in hearing aids during Dry & Store conditioning actually helped extend battery life. In 2003, an interview with the Zinc Air Technical Manager at Rayovac, published in Audiology Online also acknowledged the benefit of leaving batteries in hearing aids during the drying process when their aids are used in high humidity conditions. Dry & Store users have continued to report dramatic increases in battery life, possibly due to the combination of functions – drying the hearing aids as well as drying the batteries: greater efficiency of the electronics when not impeded by moisture, improved battery contact points due to corrosion prevention, and simply because it takes less energy to drive a dry hearing aid than one that has diaphragms saturated with moisture. The bottom line: the “generally accepted practice” relative to removal of zinc air batteries is reversing its course which is good news for hearing aid users who no longer have to fumble with tiny batteries to remove them prior to condition.