You enjoy swimming and are all about going into the water. When you were a kid, everyone said you were part fish because you loved to swim so much the pool was your second home. Today, the water sounds a little… louder… than usual. 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.
In most cases, you’re right to be a little worried. Usually, contemporary hearing aids are resistant to water to some degree. But a device that resists water is a great deal different than a device that’s waterproof.
Water resistance ratings and hearing aids
In general speaking, your hearing aids are going to function best when they are kept clean and dry. But some hearing aids are made so a little splatter here and there won’t be a big deal. It all depends on something known as an IP rating–that’s the officially designated water resistance number.
Here’s how the IP rating works: every hearing aid is assigned a two-digit number. The first number shows the device’s resistance against dirt, dust, and other forms of dry erosion.
The number here that we’re really interested in though, is the second number which represents the hearing aid’s resistance to water. The device will last longer under water the greater this number is. So a device that has a rating of IP87 will be really resistant to sand and function for about thirty minutes in water.
Although there aren’t any hearing aids currently available that are totally waterproof, there are some that can have a high water resistance rating.
Is water resistance worthwhile?
The advanced electronics inside your hearing aid case aren’t going to do well with water. Ordinarily, you’ll want to remove your hearing aids before you go swimming or jump into the shower or depending on the IP rating, sit outside in overly humid weather. If you drop your hearing aid in the deep end of the pool, a high IP rating won’t help much, but there are other scenarios 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 climate
- There have been occasions when you’ve forgotten to remove your hearing aids before going into the rain or shower
- You enjoy boating or other water activities that produce over-spray
This list is only a small sample. It’ll be up to you and your hearing specialist to take a look at your daily life and decide just what sort of water resistance is strong enough for your routine.
You have to take care of your hearing aids
It’s worthwhile to note that water-resistant doesn’t mean maintenance-free. You will want to keep your hearing aids clean and dry.
In some instances, that could mean obtaining a dehumidifier. In other circumstances, it might just mean keeping your hearing aids in a nice dry place every night (it depends on your climate). But certain kinds of moisture can leave residue (sweat among them), so to get the best results, you will also want to take the proper time to clean your hearing aids thoroughly.
What should you do if your hearing aids get wet?
Just because waterproof hearing aids don’t exist doesn’t mean you need to panic if your hearing aid gets wet. Well, no–mostly because panicking won’t help anything anyway. But you will want to carefully let your hearing aid dry and consult with us to make sure that they aren’t damaged, particularly if they have a low IP rating.
The IP rating on your hearing aid will give you a concept of what you can expect in terms of possible water damage. At the very least, try to remember to remove your hearing aids before you go swimming. The drier your hearing devices stay, the better.