FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Why do hearing aids have to be dried?

Answer: In everyday wear of hearing aids “behind the ear” (BTE) or “in the ear” (ITE), they are exposed to moisture from the outside as well as perspiration and cerumen. In the smallest gaps of the microphone, handset and housing, these secretions accumulate and lead to “whistling” or to failure of hearing aids. The electronics inside is also affected. Hearing aid failures and expensive repairs are the result.

How does drying works at flow-med drying stations?

Answer: The flow-med drying stations dry your hearing aids with warm air at 50°C in the convection principle. An electronically controlled circuit board module warms the interior of the unit. Cooler room air flows through the floor openings, is thereby heated, flows into the drying room and passes the hearing aids. The warm air can absorb the moisture. This moist air flows into the drying space through the cover openings. Thus, the hearing aids can be dried very efficiently with little energy input.

How often should hearing aids be dried?

Answer: Best daily overnight. Your hearing aids are stored safely and are maintained automatically. The daily application reduces failures, repairs and significantly extends the life of your hearing aids. The comfort drying gives you the pleasure of the hearing system and is worthwhile.

What is better: dry bricks or electronic dryers?

Answer: Dry bricks and drying stations both fulfill the goal of drying hearings aids. The chemical tabs are not environmentally friendly and are not suitable for handling (replacing wear, visibility) and the hygiene is missing. Tabs are very costly in operation. Modern flow-med dryers are easy to use, drying and hygiene are more effective and more environmentally friendly. Care is facilitated and costs less in the long run.

What do I have to do during daily drying?

Answer: Wipe the hearing aid with a special wet wipes, remove the batteries and put it into the recess (drying chamber) with the battery compartment open. Close the cover and press the touch button or press the button – that’s all. Processor-controlled all other program steps run automatically.

How long does the drying take?

Answer: Comfort drying takes 4 hours, then the flow-med drying stations for hearing aids switch off automatically and go into stand-by. You can leave the hearing aids in the dry box until morning.

Can I interrupt the drying process?

Answer: Yes, touch the sensor button (or press the button) for at least 3 seconds (outside the UV-C irradiation time), the drying station switches off and you can remove the hearing aids.

The drying station does not switch off after pressing the button for 3 seconds. What do I have to do?

Answer: In order to ensure complete disinfection (4 min at the beginning and at the end of the drying time), this can not be interrupted by pressing the button for 3 seconds. Lift the door and then touch the sensor button for at least 3 seconds or simply pull the mains plug.

Do I have to remove the batteries before drying?

Answer: It is helpful to remove the batteries before drying and to leave the battery lid open, as the warm air can flow better into the hearing system and the internal drying of the hearing aid is thereby further improved. A small tip: The battery life is longer when it is stored in a cool place and is not subjected to any heating. If you have problems with the small hearing aid batteries, they can remain in the hearing aids as well, but the hearing system must be switched off. Please ask your audiologist.

Why do I need hygienic cleansing?

Answer: Germs, bacteria and fungi occur everywhere. The ear mold or hearing aid in the ear brings special risks for an ear infection. The flow-med drying stations with UV-C light perform a hygienic cleansing in addition to drying. Ultraviolet light (UV-C with a wavelength of 253.7 nm) effectively removes all germs, bacteria and fungi up to 99.9%. This also protects your health.

What is UV-C light?

Answer: Ultraviolet rays form part of the natural sunlight spectrum. In the wavelength range of 253.7 nm (nanometer) they have a germicidal effect on bacteria, viruses, yeasts and mould. The UV-C disinfection of the air and surfaces effectively inactivates the microorganisms. Further information can be found here: Article about UV-C light

What are the risks of UV-C light?

Answer: UV-C rays can cause health risks in high dose and wrong application. For example, direct and intensive irradiation of eyes or skin. Therefore UV C light should only be used on technical products for disinfection. Further information about UV-C light and the possible risks can be found here. The flow-med products are far below the permissible limits, have protective devices and the operating instructions point out the correct use. In summary, there are no risks for the user when used correctly.

How much UV-C light does the dry-cap uv 3® generate?

Answer: The measurements resulted in an average max. irradiance of 0.33 mW/cm² and a max. irradiation dose of the equivalent of 732 J/m² directly under the device at 2×2 minutes UV-C phase daily. (corresponds to one cleaning of the hearing aid daily). The UV-C radiation of the dry-cap uv 3® covers the base area of the hood of 9.4 cm² for 0.066 hours (4 minutes). While the radiation dose directly under the unit is designed to eliminate 99.9% of all germs, viruses and bacteria, no UV-C radiation can be measured 4 cm before the unit, so that there is no danger for the user. Further details about the measurement can be found here…

What is Blue light?

Answer: Blue light is also part of the natural sunlight spectrum. It has antimicrobacteria in the wavelength range from 380 to 495 nm (nanometer). In medicine, it is successfully used in atopic dermatitis, acne and other skin disorders. The hearing aids also come into contact with these pathogens. Some flow-med drying stations use blue light for signaling. The antimicrobacterial effect is at the same time a health-promoting factor.

What is the difference between the drying stations for hearing aids dry-star uv 2 and dry-sun uv 2?

Answer: The Dry box for hearing aids dry-star uv 2 and the dry-sun uv 2 differ in design, covered or transparent cover and push-button operation. All differences of the flow-med drying stations can be found in Product comparison.

What is a sensor button and what is a tactile button?

Answer: Both buttons in the flow-med products are electronic buttons for program start. The entire program sequence is controlled with only one touch or one press on the button. Sensing keys function capacitively by simple touch with the finger. Tactile keys release a clicking sound when pressed. A lighting additionally signals the program start.

What is an automatic room and temperature adjustment?

Answer: In order to achieve a constant and optimal drying temperature even in different environments (for example, a cool bedroom or a warm living room), flow-med drying stations for hearing aids have a temperature sensor that adjusts the optimal drying temperature several times per second. This measurement takes into account automatically in every environment. A small tip: Used in warm rooms, the drying station saves electricity.

Are the devices switched off automatically?

Answer: Yes, all flow-med products automatically switch to stand-by after appropriate drying or cleansing time.

How much energy do the flow-med products require in operation and stand-by?

Answer: All flow-med products are energy-saving. For example, the drying stations cost less than € 1,- electricity costs per year with daily use and permanent standby. (Calculated at € 0.25 per kWh) The USB power supplies have the latest low-energy level Class VI.

What is the purpose of the microprocessor?

Answer: The microprocessor is the core, it controls and monitors all functions in every flow-med product. Sensors record all internal and external measure values. Drying time and temperature have been matched to achieve perfect drying and cleansing results. They also monitor all systems relevant for product safety. The microprocessor facilitates your care.

Can I use external USB ports?

Answer: USB devices are supplied by flow-med with a high-quality 5V USB power supply, which should be used primarily for operating the devices. If you want to use other USB sources (e.g. USB ports in the hotel, car, PC, audio or TV), this is possible at all sources that meet at least the international USB 2.0 standard. Always use the supplied USB cable, as the device-side circular plug is easy to plug in without confusion.

Can I also dry and care cochlear hearing systems?

Answer: Yes. Gentle drying and UV-C hygiene are particularly important for these CI systems. The DRY-SPACE UV has been specially developed for this purpose. Since CI devices with an emitter coil and magnet are considerably larger than normal hearing instruments, there are special care devices that pick up 2 CI systems, dry them gently and have a specially dosed UV-C hygiene. Incidentally, this also applies to bone conduction implants.

Can I dry and care rechargeable hearing aids?

Answer: With daily use of rechargeable hearing aids, power supply (battery) and care is an absolute necessity. Since charging with a charger takes many hours and is only possible outside of hearing aid use, the hearing aids must be charged continuously overnight. In cooperation with hearing aid charging specialists, we have developed the dry box for rechargeable hearing aids dry-cap uv®, which is specially designed for the needs of rechargeable hearing aids.

What is the difference between u-sonic and conventional ultrasonic cleaners?

Answer: Commercial ultrasound cleaners are overwhelmed in the cleaning of the ear molds, especially in the case of cerumen deposits. The ultrasonic cleaner for hearing aids u-sonic with a 7-times higher cleaning effect provides the best results with cleanliness. The power ultrasound with 46 kHz also offers clinical cleanliness and hygiene. Germs, bacteria and fungi are eliminated and health risks minimized.

What is ultrasound?

Answer: The principle of ultrasonic cleaning is based on cavitation. Cavitation is the formation and dissolution of vapor bubbles in liquids by pressure fluctuations. If an ultrasonic field is introduced into liquids, it generates waves with excess and negative pressure in the liquid. If such a negative pressure wave hits an object to be cleaned (for example ear molds), steam-filled cavities are formed on small air bubbles functioning as nuclei. When the subsequent high-pressure shaft hits the cavity, the static pressure in the cavity rises as a result of its compression over the saturation vapor pressure. During this process, the steam bubbles condense abruptly with sound velocity. Pressure peaks up to 100.000 bar can occur. These cyclically developing and disappearing cavities work virtually on the surface and clean them effectively. Dirt and cerumen are thereby mechanically dissolved.

What ultrasonic frequency is good?

Answer: This can not be answered on a general basis. Ultrasonic frequencies of 25 kHz are, for example, for large machine parts, 40 kHz for spectacles, 46 kHz for ear molds and 100 kHz for contact lenses. The u-sonic’s frequency, power and container volume (100ml) are matched to the optimal cleaning result for ear molds.

How do I fill the u-sonic with water?

Answer: In the lid, fill fresh tap water up to the inner marking. Pour this amount into the u-sonic stainless steel pot. It is the optimal filling quantity, into which you put your ear molds or the parts to be cleaned.

Can I fill or operate the u-sonic directly under the water line?

Answer: No – never. Electrical appliances must not be operated in sinks, bathtubs, or near water, irrespective of whether the plug is plugged into the socket. For safety reasons this prohibits the electrical regulations.

What happens if I forget to fill water?

Answer: If the ultrasonic vibrations can not be absorbed by the water, the ultrasonic unit would break. So always fill in water first!

Are cleaning additives useful?

Answer: Cleaning already works very well with normal tap water. Cleaning additives can improve the result even with intensive cleaning. But they must be adapted to the part to be cleaned and recommended by the appropriate specialist as well as the dosage.

Can I clean all parts with ultrasound?

Answer: No – Only ultrasonic cleanable parts can be cleaned with ultrasound. Ear molds, hearing protections, mini-hoses, orolives, umbrellas, coins, medals, badges, razor-heads, signposts, earrings, chains, rings yes – Never put hearing aids of all kinds into the water. For genuine jewelery or stones please ask a jeweler!

In what order do I use the u-sonic?

Answer: As described in the user-guide: Pour the lid with water into the stainless steel pot, insert the parts to be cleaned, close the lid, plug in the mains socket and touch the sensor button. Ultrasonic cleaning is automatic for 6 minutes and switches off. Then you can open the lid, remove the parts and rinse well under running water and dry. The contaminated water in the u-sonic must be poured out after each cleaning, please wipe the pot damp. The u-sonic operates in short-term operation, meaning when it is operated several times in a row and becomes very heated, it switches off automatically.

How can I dispose of the products?

Answer: The flow-med products fulfill your purpose for many years to your satisfaction. If necessary, you can dispose of the products via the collection points of the municipalities for electronic waste, never in domestic waste. As a manufacturer, we pay WEEE disposal fees on a monthly basis.

Are flow-med products safe?

Answer: The effect is confirmed by independent test institutes with certificates. All flow-med products are absolutely safe and tested by national and international testing institutes according to the applicable EU standards. A processor monitors all functions and the products have a safety automatic.

How long is the warranty period?

Answer: All flow-med products meet a high quality standard and have a 2-year warranty. For warranty replacement, please contact the store where you purchased the products.

Where can I buy the flow-med products?

Answer: As an end user: We as a manufacturer sell exclusively to audiology chains, accessory suppliers, distributors and hearing aid manufacturers. As an end customer, please ask the audiologist you trust for our flow-med products. As an industrial customer: Are you an acoustician, accessories supplier, distributor or hearing aid manufacturer? Please simply contact us.

Can I use the flow-med products abroad?

Answer: Yes, all flow-med products are usable worldwide. 5V USB devices are compatible with international standards. You can also use commercial travel adapters.

What can I do with defects?

Answer: If the device is defect, always pull the mains plug and bring the devices to your dealer. Never open it by yourself (loss of warranty) or repair yourself (electric shock).

What is the difference between the drying stations for rechargeable hearing aids dry-cap uv and dry-cap uv 2?

Answer: While the dry-cap uv® is suitable for smaller rechargeable hearing aids such as ZPower, Styletto, Signia, Starkey Mini Turbo Charger and Phonak Mini Charger, … under the new dry-cap uv 2® can also fit larger charging stations such as Resound, Oticon OPN Charger, Phonak Charger Case, Phonak Power Pack, … Due to the 30% larger volume of the new dry-cap uv 2®, the drying time had to be adjusted from 30 min to 2 hours and the UV-C time from 1 min to 2 min. All differences of the flow-med drying stations for rechargeable hearing aids can be found in Product comparison.