As a swimmer, you love going in the water. When you were a kid, everybody said you were part fish because you liked to swim so much the pool was your second home. 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.
Normally, this would be somewhat of a concern. Usually, contemporary hearing aids are resistant to water to some degree. But being resistant to water isn’t 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 good working order. But some hearing aids are made so a little splash now and then won’t be a big deal. The IP rating is the official water resistance number and identifies how water resistant a hearing aid is.
Here’s how the IP rating works: every hearing aid is given a two-digit number. The device’s resistance to dust, sand, and other kinds of dry erosion is represented by the first digit.
The number here that we’re really considering though, is the second digit which signifies the device’s resistance 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.
Some contemporary hearing aids can be really water-resistant. But there are no hearing aids presently available that are completely waterproof.
Is water resistance worthwhile?
Your hearing aids have sophisticated technology inside them which can be damaged by moisture. Typically, you’ll want to take out your hearing aids before you go swimming or hop into the shower or depending on the IP rating, go outside in excessively humid weather. No level of water resistance will help if you drop your hearing aids in the deep end of the pool, but there are some circumstances where a high IP rating will definitely be advantageous:
- If the environment where you live is rainy or excessively humid
- You have a passion for water sports (such as boating or fishing); the spray from the boat could call for high IP rated hearing aids
- If you perspire substantially, whether at rest or when exercising (sweat, after all, is a type of water)
- There have been times when you’ve forgotten to take your hearing aid out before going into the rain or shower
This list is just a small sample. Naturally, what level of water resistance will be enough for your day-to-day life will only be able to be determined after a consultation.
Your hearing aids need to be cared for
It’s important to mention that water-resistant doesn’t mean maintenance-free. Between sweat-filled runs, it will be smart to ensure that you clean your hearing aids and keep them dry.
You might, in some scenarios, need to purchase a dehumidifier. But in most situations, a nice dry storage place will work fine (depending on where you live). And it will be necessary to completely clean and remove any residue left behind by certain moistures including sweat.
What can 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 will want to carefully let your hearing aid dry and consult with us to make sure that they aren’t damaged, especially if they have a low IP rating.
How much damage your hearing aid has sustained can be estimated based on the IP rating. 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.