You enjoy swimming and are all about being in the water. When you were a kid, everybody said you were part fish because you liked to swim so much the pool was your second home. Today, the water sounds a little… louder… than normal. And that’s when you realize you might have made a mistake: you brought your hearing aids into the pool. And you aren’t entirely sure those little electronic devices are waterproof.
In most cases, you’re right to be a little worried. Hearing aids are often built with some level of water resistance in mind. But being resistant to water is not the same as actually being waterproof.
Water resistance ratings and hearing aids
In general speaking, your hearing aids are going to function best when they are kept dry and clean. 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 figure and identifies how water resistant a hearing aid is.
Here’s how the IP rating works: every device is given a two-digit number. The first digit signifies the device’s resistance against dirt, dust, and other kinds 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 aren’t any hearing aids presently available that are totally waterproof, there are some that can have a high water resistance rating.
Is water resistance worthwhile?
The advanced electronics inside your hearing aid case won’t do well with water. Ordinarily, you’ll want to take out your hearing aids before you go for a swim or hop into the shower or depending on the IP rating, go 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 scenarios where it can be useful:
- If you live in a really humid, rainy, or wet climate
- There have been occasions 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 have a passion for water sports (such as fishing or boating); the spray from the boat could warrant high IP rated hearing aids
This list is only a small sample. Naturally, what level of water resistance will be enough for your day-to-day routine will only be able to be identified after a consultation.
Your hearing aids need to be taken care of
It’s important to note that water-resistant does not mean maintenance-free. Between sweat-filled runs, it will be smart to ensure that you clean your hearing aids and keep them dry.
You might, in some situations, need to get a dehumidifier. In other circumstances, it may just mean storing your hearing aids in a nice dry place every night (depending on your climate). And it will be necessary to completely 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? Mostly because panicking never helps anyway so it’s best to stay calm. But you will want to carefully allow your hearing aids to 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 aid will give you a concept of what you can expect in terms of possible water damage. If you can avoid getting your hearing aids wet, you will get the best results. The drier your hearing devices stay, the better.