You love swimming and are all about being 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). Today, the water seems a bit… louder… than normal. 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.
Usually, this would be somewhat of a worry. Normally, modern 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 clean and dry is the best way to keep them in good working order. But some hearing aids are made so a little splatter now and then won’t be a big deal. The IP rating is the established water resistance figure and establishes how water resistant a hearing aid is.
The IP number works by giving every hearing aid a two digit number. The first digit signifies the device’s resistance to sand, dust, and other kinds of dry erosion.
The second number (and the one we’re really considering here) signifies how resistant your device is to water. The device will last longer under water the higher this number is. So a device with a rating of IP87 will be very resistant to sand and work for around thirty minutes in water.
Some modern hearing aids can be quite water-resistant. But there are no hearing aids presently available that are entirely waterproof.
Is water resistance worthwhile?
Your hearing aids have advanced technology inside them which can be damaged by moisture. Typically, 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 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 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 you have a heavy sweating problem
- If the environment where you live is rainy or overly humid
This is certainly not an exhaustive list. It’ll be up to you and your hearing specialist to evaluate your day-to-day life and determine just what type of water resistance is strong enough for your life.
You have to care for your hearing aids
Your hearing aid isn’t maintenance-free just because it’s water resistant. You will need to keep your hearing aids dry and clean.
In some instances, that could mean obtaining a dehumidifier. But in most cases, a clean dry storage place will work fine (depending on where you live). But certain kinds of moisture can leave residue (sweat among them), so to get the best benefits, you will also want to take enough time to clean your hearing aids completely.
If your hearing aids get wet, what can you do?
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 getting panicked won’t improve anything anyway. But you will want to completely 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.
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 abstain from getting your hearing aids wet, you will get the best results. It’s best to keep your hearing aids as dry as possible.