As a swimmer, you love going in the water. The pool is like your second home (when you were a kid, everyone said you were part fish–that’s how regularly you wanted to swim). Today, the water seems a bit… louder… than normal. And then you recognize your oversight: you went into the pool with your hearing aid in. And you don’t know if it’s waterproof or not.
Usually, this would be somewhat of a worry. Usually, contemporary hearing aids are resistant to water to some degree. 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 good working order. But some hearing aids are manufactured so a little splash here and there won’t be a problem. The IP rating is the established water resistance number and establishes how water resistant a hearing aid is.
Here’s how the IP rating works: every device is assigned a two-digit number. The first number represents the device’s resistance to dirt, dust, and other types of dry erosion.
The second number (and the one we’re really interested in here) signifies how resistant your device 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.
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?
Your hearing aids have sophisticated 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, avoid using them in excessively 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:
- If you sweat significantly, whether at rest or when exercising (sweat, after all, is a kind of water)
- You have a passion for water sports (like fishing or boating); the spray from the boat may call for high IP rated hearing aids
- If you live in a relatively humid, rainy, or wet climate
- There have been occasions when you’ve forgotten to remove your hearing aids before going into the rain or shower
This is surely not a complete list. It’ll be up to you and your hearing specialist to take a look at your day-to-day life and identify just what type of water resistance is strong enough for your routine.
Your hearing aids need to be cared for
Your hearing aid isn’t maintenance-free just because it’s water resistant. Between sweat-filled runs, it will be smart to make sure that you clean your hearing aids and keep them dry.
You might, in some situations, need to purchase a dehumidifier. In other circumstances, it may 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 certain moistures including sweat.
What can you do if your hearing aids get wet?
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 carefully let your hearing aid 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 aid will give you a concept of what you can expect when it comes to possible water damage. If you can abstain from getting your hearing aids wet, you will get the best results. The drier your hearing devices stay, the better.