You love 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 often you wanted to swim). Today, the water seems a little… louder… than usual. And that’s when you realize you may have made a mistake: you wore your hearing aids into the pool. And you don’t know if it’s waterproof or not.
Usually, this would be somewhat of a concern. Normally, modern hearing aids are resistant to water to some degree. But a device that resists water is a lot different than a device that’s waterproof.
Hearing aids and water resistance ratings
In general speaking, your hearing aids are going to work best when they are kept clean and dry. But some hearing aids are made so a little splatter now and then won’t be a problem. 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 device is assigned a two-digit number. The device’s resistance to dust, sand, and other types of dry erosion is delineated by the first number.
The number here that we’re really interested in though, is the second number which represents the hearing aid’s resistance to water. The higher the number, the longer the device will keep working under water. So a device with a rating of IP87 will be quite resistant to sand and function for about thirty minutes in water.
Some modern hearing aids can be quite water-resistant. But there aren’t any hearing aids presently available that are totally waterproof.
Is water resistance worthwhile?
Your hearing aids have sophisticated electronics inside them which can be damaged by moisture. Normally, you’ll want to take out your hearing aids before you go for a swim or hop in the shower or depending on the IP rating, sit outside 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:
- There have been occasions when you’ve forgotten to take your hearing aid out before going into the rain or shower
- You have a passion for water sports (like boating or fishing); the spray from the boat could call for high IP rated hearing aids
- If you have a heavy sweating problem
- If you live in a really humid, rainy, or wet climate
This is surely not a complete list. Naturally, what level of water resistance will be adequate for your daily routine will only be able to be identified after a consultation.
Your hearing aids need to be cared for
Your hearing aid is not maintenance-free just because it’s water resistant. Between sweat-filled runs, it will be wise to ensure that you clean your hearing aids and keep them dry.
In some cases, that could mean investing in a dehumidifier. In other circumstances, it might just mean keeping your hearing aids in a nice dry place every night (depending on your climate). And it will be necessary to completely clean and remove any residue left behind by certain moistures including sweat.
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? Well, no–mostly because panicking won’t help anything anyway. But you need to give your hearing aids enough time to dry out completely 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 a concept of what you can expect in terms of possible water damage. If you can abstain from getting your hearing aids wet, you will get the best results. It’s best to keep your hearing aids as dry as you can.