You enjoy swimming and are all about being in the water. When you were younger, everybody said you were part fish because you loved to swim so much the pool was your second home. Today, the water sounds a bit… louder… than usual. And then you realize your oversight: you went in the pool with your hearing aid in. And you don’t know if it’s waterproof or not.
Generally, this would be somewhat of a worry. Hearing aids are often built with some degree of water resistance in mind. But a device that resists water is a great deal different than a device that’s waterproof.
Hearing aids and water resistance ratings
Keeping your hearing aids dry and clean is the best way to keep them in proper working order. But for most 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 figure and identifies how water resistant a hearing aid is.
The IP number works by assigning every device a two digit number. The first number shows the device’s resistance to dirt, dust, and other types of dry erosion.
The number here that we’re really considering though, is the second number which signifies 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 very resistant to sand and function for around thirty minutes in water.
Although there are no hearing aids presently available that are completely waterproof, there are some that can have a high water resistance rating.
Is water resistance worthwhile?
The intricate electronics inside of your hearing aid case won’t do well with water. Before you go swimming or into the shower you will definitely want to take out your hearing aid and depending on the IP rating, avoid using them in overly 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 circumstances where it can be useful:
- If the environment where you live is rainy or excessively humid
- You enjoy boating or other water activities that generate over-spray
- You have a record of forgetting to take out your hearing aid before you take a shower or walk out into the rain
- If you have a heavy sweating problem
This is surely not a complete list. Of course, what level of water resistance will be sufficient for your daily routine will only be able to be determined after a consultation.
Your hearing aids need to be taken care of
Your hearing aid is not maintenance-free just because it’s resistant to water. You will want to keep your hearing aids dry and clean.
In some instances, that might mean obtaining a dehumidifier. In other circumstances, it might just mean storing your hearing aids in a clean 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.
What can you do if your hearing aids get wet?
If waterproof hearing aids don’t exist, 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 entirely and if they have a low IP rating, we can help you find out if there is any damage.
How much damage your hearing aid has sustained can be approximated 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.