You enjoy swimming and are all about going into the water. When you were younger, everybody said you were part fish because you liked to swim so much the pool was your second home. Today, the water seems a little… louder… than normal. And that’s when you realize you may have made a mistake: you brought your hearing aids into the pool. And you don’t know if it’s waterproof or not.
Usually, this would be somewhat of a worry. Hearing aids are typically constructed with some level of water resistance in mind. But being resistant to water is not the same as actually being waterproof.
Hearing aids and water resistance ratings
Keeping your hearing aids clean and dry is the best way to keep them in proper working order. But some hearing aids are designed so a little splash now and then won’t be a big deal. The IP rating is the official water resistance figure and identifies how water resistant a hearing aid is.
The IP number works by giving every device a two digit number. The device’s resistance to dust, sand, and other forms of dry erosion is represented by the first number.
The number here that we’re really interested in though, is the second digit which signifies the device’s resistance to water. The device will last longer under water the higher this number is. So if a device has a rating of IP87 it will have really strong resistance to dry erosion and will be okay under water for about a half hour.
Some contemporary hearing aids can be really water-resistant. But there aren’t any hearing aids currently available that are completely waterproof.
Is water resistance worthwhile?
The sophisticated electronics inside your hearing aid case aren’t going to do well with water. Before you go swimming or into the shower you will probably want to take out your hearing aid and depending on the IP rating, avoid using them in excessively humid weather. If you drop your hearing aid in the deep end of the pool, a high IP rating won’t do much good, but there are other circumstances where it can be useful:
- If you sweat significantly, whether at rest or when exercising (sweat, after all, is a type of water)
- If you live in a relatively humid, rainy, or wet environment
- You have a history of forgetting to take out your hearing aid before you shower or walk out into the rain
- You enjoy boating or other water activities that produce over-spray
This is certainly not a complete list. Naturally, what degree of water resistance will be sufficient for your daily life will only be able to be identified after a consultation.
You have to take care of your hearing aids
It’s important to mention that water-resistant doesn’t mean maintenance-free. Between sweat-filled runs, it will be wise to ensure that you clean your hearing aids and keep them dry.
In some situations, that might mean obtaining a dehumidifier. In other cases, it may just mean keeping your hearing aids in a clean dry place at night (it depends on your climate). And it will be necessary to completely clean and remove any residue left behind by certain moistures including sweat.
What should you do if your hearing aids get wet?
Just because waterproof hearing aids don’t exist doesn’t mean you should panic if your hearing aid gets wet. Mostly because panicking never improves the situation anyway so it’s best to stay 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 find out if there is any damage.
The IP rating on your hearing aid will give you a concept 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.