Do They Make Hearing Aids That Are Waterproof?

Woman with hearing aids in her ears wearing a backpack overlooking a lake on a summer day.

As a swimmer, you love being in the water. The pool is like your second home (when you were younger, everyone said you were part fish–that’s how regularly you wanted to swim). Today, the water sounds a bit… louder… than usual. And that’s when you notice you might have made a mistake: you brought your hearing aids into the pool. And you aren’t really sure those tiny electronic devices are waterproof.

Normally, 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 lot 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 proper working order. But some hearing aids are designed so a little splatter here and there won’t be a big deal. The IP rating is the established water resistance figure and determines how water resistant a hearing aid is.

The IP number works by giving every hearing aid a two digit number. The device’s resistance to dust, sand, and other forms of dry erosion is represented by the first digit.

The second number (and the one we’re really interested in here) signifies how resistant your hearing aid is to water. The higher the number, the longer the device will keep working under water. So a device that has a rating of IP87 will be very resistant to sand and work for about thirty minutes in water.

Although there are no hearing aids currently available that are completely waterproof, there are some that can have a high water resistance rating.

Is water resistance worthwhile?

Your hearing aids have advanced electronics inside them which can be damaged by moisture. Before you go swimming or into the shower you will definitely want to take out your hearing aid and depending on the IP rating, try not to use them 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 in which a high IP rating will definitely be to your advantage:

  • You enjoy boating or other water activities that generate over-spray
  • If you sweat significantly, whether at rest or when exercising (sweat, after all, is a kind of water)
  • If the climate where you live is rainy or excessively humid
  • You have a track record of forgetting to take your hearing aids out before you shower or walk out into the rain

This list is just a small sample. It’ll be up to you and your hearing specialist to evaluate your daily life and identify just what sort of water resistance is strong enough for your routine.

You have to take care of your hearing aids

Your hearing aid isn’t maintenance-free just because it’s water resistant. Between sweat-filled runs, it will be smart to ensure that you clean your hearing aids and keep them dry.

You may, in some situations, need to purchase a dehumidifier. In other circumstances, it might just mean keeping your hearing aids in a clean dry place at night (depending on your climate). And it will be necessary to thoroughly clean and remove any residue left behind by some moistures including sweat.

What should 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 getting panicked won’t help anything anyway. But you need to give your hearing aids sufficient time to dry out completely and if they have a low IP rating, we can help you identify if there is any damage.

How much damage your hearing aid has sustained can be estimated based on the IP rating. If you can abstain from getting your hearing aids wet, you will get the best results. The drier your hearing devices stay, the better.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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