As a swimmer, you love going in the water. The pool is like your second home (when you were a kid, everybody said you were part fish–that’s how often you wanted to go swimming). The water seems a bit…louder… than normal today. And that’s when you realize you may have made a mistake: you wore your hearing aids into the pool. And you aren’t really certain those little electronic devices are waterproof.
In most cases, you’re right to be a little concerned. 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
Keeping your hearing aids dry and clean is the best way to keep them in good working order. But for the majority of 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 identifies how water resistant a hearing aid is.
The IP number works by assigning every device a two digit number. The device’s resistance to dust, sand, and other types of dry erosion is delineated by the first digit.
The second number (and the one we’re really interested in here) signifies how resistant your device is to water. The higher the number, the longer the device will keep working under water. So if a device has a rating of IP87 it will have extremely good resistance to dry erosion and will be ok under water for about 30 minutes.
Some contemporary hearing aids can be quite water-resistant. But there are no hearing aids currently available that are totally waterproof.
Is water resistance worthwhile?
Your hearing aids have advanced technology inside them which can be damaged by moisture. 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 help much, but there are other situations where it can be useful:
- You enjoy boating or other water activities that generate over-spray
- There have been occasions when you’ve forgotten to remove your hearing aids before going into the rain or shower
- If the climate where you live is rainy or excessively humid
- If you have a heavy sweating problem
This is certainly not an exhaustive list. Naturally, what degree of water resistance will be sufficient for your day-to-day life will only be able to be determined after a consultation.
You have to take care of your hearing aids
It’s worthwhile to note that water-resistant does not mean maintenance-free. You will want to keep your hearing aids dry and clean.
You may, in some circumstances, need to get a dehumidifier. In other circumstances, it may just mean storing your hearing aids in a nice dry place at night (it depends on your climate). But certain kinds of moisture can leave residue (sweat among them), so to get the best benefits, you will also want to take the proper time to clean your hearing aids thoroughly.
If your hearing aids get wet, what should you do?
If there’s no such thing as a waterproof hearing aid, should you panic when your devices get wet? Mostly because panicking never helps anyway so it’s best to stay calm. But you will want to carefully allow your hearing aids to dry and check in with us to make certain that they aren’t damaged, particularly if they have a low IP rating.
The IP rating on your hearing device will give you an idea of what you can expect when it comes to 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 possible.