HEARING TIPS

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

You love swimming and are all about being in the water. When you were a kid, everyone said you were part fish because you loved to swim so much the pool was your second home. The water seems a little…louder… than normal today. And that’s when you realize you may have made a mistake: you brought 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 bit worried. Hearing aids are often constructed with some degree of water resistance in mind. But being resistant to water is not the same as actually being 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 number and identifies how water resistant a hearing aid is.

The IP number works by assigning every device a two digit number. The first digit 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 device’s resistance to water. The device will last longer under water the greater this number is. So a device with a rating of IP87 will be really resistant to sand and function for around thirty minutes in water.

Some contemporary hearing aids can be really water-resistant. But there are no hearing aids currently available that are entirely waterproof.

Is water resistance worthwhile?

Your hearing aids have advanced technology inside them which can be damaged by moisture. Before you go for a swim 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 excessively humid weather. No amount of water resistance will help if you drop your hearing aids in the deep end of a swimming pool, but there are some situations in which a high IP rating will definitely be to your advantage:

  • There have been times when you’ve forgotten to take your hearing aid out before going into the rain or shower
  • If you have a heavy sweating issue
  • You love boating or other water activities that generate over-spray
  • If the climate where you live is rainy or excessively humid

This is surely not an exhaustive list. Naturally, what degree of water resistance will be sufficient for your daily routine will only be able to be determined after a consultation.

You have to take care of your hearing aids

It’s important to mention that water-resistant doesn’t mean maintenance-free. You will need to keep your hearing aids dry and clean.

In some circumstances, that might mean obtaining a dehumidifier. But in most cases, a clean dry storage place will work fine (depending on where you live). And it will be necessary to thoroughly clean and remove any residue left behind by some moistures including sweat.

What can you do if your hearing aids get wet?

Just because there’s no such thing as a waterproof hearing aid doesn’t mean you need to panic if your hearing aid gets wet. Well, no–mostly because panicking won’t improve anything anyway. But you will want to carefully allow your hearing aids to dry and consult with us to make certain that they aren’t damaged, particularly if they have a low IP rating.

How much damage your hearing aid has sustained can be estimated based on the IP rating. At the very least, try not to forget to remove your hearing aids before you go swimming. It’s best to keep your hearing aids as dry as possible.

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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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