You enjoy swimming and are all about going into the water. The pool is like your second home (when you were a kid, everyone said you were part fish–that’s how regularly you wanted to swim). The water seems a little…louder… than normal today. And then you realize your oversight: you went into the pool with your hearing aid in. And you don’t know if it’s waterproof or not.
In most scenarios, you’re right to be a bit worried. Hearing aids are typically designed with some amount of water resistance in mind. But being resistant to water isn’t the same as actually being waterproof.
Hearing aids and water resistance ratings
Keeping your hearing aids dry and clean is the best way to keep them in proper working order. But for most hearing aids, it won’t be a big deal if you get a little water on them. The IP rating is the official water resistance number and determines how water resistant a hearing aid is.
Here’s how the IP rating works: every device is given a two-digit number. The device’s resistance to dust, sand, and other forms of dry erosion is represented by the first digit.
The second number (and the one we’re really considering here) signifies how resistant your hearing aid is to water. The device will last longer under water the greater this number is. So a device with a rating of IP87 will be very resistant to sand and function for around thirty minutes in water.
Although there are no hearing aids presently available that are entirely waterproof, there are some that can have a high water resistance rating.
Is water resistance worthwhile?
Your hearing aids have advanced electronics inside them which can be damaged by moisture. Before you go swimming or into the shower you will definitely want to take out your hearing aid and depending on the IP rating, try not to use them in overly humid weather. No level of water resistance will help if you drop your hearing aids in the deep end of a swimming pool, but there are some circumstances where a high IP rating will definitely be to your advantage:
- If you perspire significantly, whether at rest or when exercising (sweat, after all, is a type of water)
- If the environment where you live is rainy or overly humid
- You have a history of forgetting to take your hearing aids out before you shower or go out into the rain
- You love boating or other water activities that produce over-spray
This list is only the tip of the iceberg. Of course, what degree of water resistance will be enough for your daily routine will only be able to be determined after a consultation.
You have to care for your hearing aids
It’s important to mention that water-resistant doesn’t mean maintenance-free. You will need to keep your hearing aids clean and dry.
In some cases, that could mean purchasing a dehumidifier. But in most cases, a nice dry storage place will work fine (depending on where you live). But certain types of moisture can leave residue (sweat among them), so to get the best results, you will also want to take enough time to clean your hearing aids thoroughly.
If your hearing aids get wet, what can you do?
If waterproof hearing aids don’t exist, should you panic when your devices get wet? Mostly because panicking never helps anyway so it’s best to remain calm. But you need to give your hearing aids sufficient time to dry out entirely and if they have a low IP rating, we can help you identify if there is any damage.
The IP rating on your hearing aid will give you an idea of what you can expect in terms of possible water damage. If you can avoid getting your hearing aids wet, you will get the best results. It’s best to keep your hearing aids as dry as you can.