You love swimming and are all about going into the water. The pool is like your second home (when you were younger, everybody said you were part fish–that’s how regularly you wanted to go swimming). The water seems a bit…louder… than usual today. 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.
Generally, this would be somewhat of a concern. Normally, contemporary hearing aids are resistant to water to some degree. But being resistant to water isn’t the same as actually being 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 for the majority of hearing aids, it won’t be a problem 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 device’s resistance to dust, sand, and other kinds of dry erosion is delineated by the first digit.
The second digit (and the one we’re really interested in here) signifies how resistant your hearing aid is 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 work for about thirty minutes in water.
Some contemporary hearing aids can be very water-resistant. But there are no hearing aids presently available that are entirely waterproof.
Is water resistance worthwhile?
Your hearing aids have sophisticated technology inside them which can be damaged by moisture. Ordinarily, you’ll want to remove your hearing aids before you go for a swim or jump into 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 situations in which a high IP rating will absolutely be advantageous:
- If the climate where you live is rainy or excessively humid
- If you sweat substantially, whether at rest or when exercising (sweat, after all, is a kind of water)
- You enjoy boating or other water activities that produce 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
This list is only the tip of the iceberg. Of course, what degree of water resistance will be sufficient for your daily routine will only be able to be identified after a consultation.
Your hearing aids need to be taken care of
It’s important to mention that water-resistant does not mean maintenance-free. You will want to keep your hearing aids dry and clean.
In some circumstances, that could mean obtaining a dehumidifier. In other cases, it might just mean keeping your hearing aids in a clean dry place at night (it depends on your climate). And it will be necessary to thoroughly clean and remove any residue left behind by some 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 getting panicked won’t help anything anyway. But you will want to completely allow your hearing aids to dry and check in with us to make certain 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 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 possible.