The warm weather is always a welcome respite from the icy cold of the winter months, and it’s understandable why so many people spend so much more time outside while the sun is actually inviting, instead of just a tease. But if you wear hearing aids, the heat is not your hearing aid’s friend and can do some serious damage if you’re not following proper maintenance procedures.

So, in celebration of our favorite time of year, we’ve compiled a list of summer dos and don’ts for hearing aid users to keep in mind while out in the elements.

Don’t: Leave your hearing aids in direct sunlight or in extreme heat, like inside your car.
Do: Store your hearing aid and hearing aid batteries in a cool, dry place.

Proper hearing aid storage is important when
maintaining your device.

Excessive heat can damage the delicate elements of your hearing aid, shortening its life. This damage is caused not only by the heat itself, but by the moisture that can develop inside the hearing aid as it endures severe temperature changes, like going from a cool, air-conditioned living room to the balmy heat of the backyard. Additionally, the outer casing is made of plastic, which is liable to melt in high temperatures.

Don’t: Allow bacteria or fungi to grow on your hearing aid.
Do: Keep disinfectant towelettes handy, at home or in your wallet or purse, to clean your hearing aids regularly.

The hot, humid weather is ideal for germs, bacteria and fungi to grow and thrive, so regular cleaning is essential to keep your hearing aid free of unwanted guests. Small microbial towelettes are available that fit snugly in your purse, wallet or pocket, keeping sanitation always within reach.

Don’t: Wear water-resistant hearing aids in the water.
Do: Make sure to note the difference between waterproof and water-resistant.

Your hearing aid won’t be able to withstand water unless it is a proper waterproof hearing aid. Many water-resistant hearing aids and hearing aid accessories are also available, but these only help protect against minor water intrusions like splashes, rain, or moisture accumulation. Be sure to know the difference before you go swimming.

Don’t: Ruin your vacation by forgetting one of your hearing aid accessories.
Do: Pack back-up supplies, like batteries and tubes.

You know that feeling you get right before you leave for vacation, that nagging feeling that you’re forgetting something important? Make a checklist beforehand that includes all the extras you need for your hearing aid, especially batteries. What good is hiking in the rainforest if you can’t hear the birds or the monkeys?

Don’t: Take your hearing aid out or turn it off while going through airport security or while in flight.
Do: Keep them on for important safety and security instructions from airport officials.

Some hearing aids can set off airport security scanners, but you can alert the officials to your hearing aid ahead of time verbally, or by downloading an official TSA Notification Card that provides you with a little discretion in communicating your disability to security officials. Your hearing aid is also exempt from the no-electronic-devices policy on board the plane, so you are free to enjoy that in-flight movie.

If you do your due diligence to protect your hearing aid from the sun and heat, and make sure to plan ahead and pack a hearing aid travel kit before leaving home, you can ensure your hearing aid won’t get in the way of your summer fun.