If you’re an active swimmer, live somewhere humid or simply want to avoid an accident, you may be wondering whether you can invest in waterproof hearing aids. Unfortunately, there aren’t really any waterproof hearing hearings; however, most models are to some degree water-resistant.
Why Aren’t Hearing Aids Waterproof?
Within your hearing aids are delicate electronics that convert soundwaves to electrical signals and amplify them to a level you can hear. Like any other high-tech device such as a smartphone or tablet, the electronics do not get along with water.
How Water-Resistant Are Your Hearing Aids?
The International Electrotechnical Commission determines the level of water-resistance of all hearing aids and provides an IP rating. IP ratings contain two numbers: The first tells you how much protection the device has against debris. The second indicates how water-resistant it is.
Below is a list of IP moisture ratings and their protection levels:
- IPX0 – No protection.
- IPX1 – Protection against condensation or water dripping vertically.
- IPX2 – Protection against spraying water tilted up to 15 degrees vertically.
- IPX3 – Protection against spraying water tilted up to 60 degrees vertically.
- IPX4 – Protection against splashing water from any angle.
- IPX5 – Protection against low-pressure water stream from any angle.
- IPX6 – Protection against high-pressure water stream from any angle.
- IPX7 – Protection against water immersion for 30 minutes at depth of one meter.
- IPX8 – Protection against continual water submersion.
How Much Water Protection Do You Need?
You may want to consider a hearing aid model with a high IP rating if…
- You perspire heavily.
- You live in a wet or humid climate.
- You enjoy water hobbies like boating and fishing.
- You are forgetful (at risk of wearing hearing aids into pool or shower).
How Do You Keep Hearing Aids Dry?
Even if your hearing aids do have a high IP rating, you should try to keep the electronics as dry as possible in order to extend their lifespan. Every night when you take your hearing aids out, be sure to…
- Wipe them down with a clean, dry cloth.
- For rechargeable hearing aids, dock them in their charger for the night.
- For hearing aids with disposable batteries, keep the battery compartment door open all night to allow moisture to evaporate.
- Keep water bottles or cups away from hearing aids if stored on a nightstand.
We recommend investing in a dehumidifier to store your hearing aids in overnight.
For more information about water-resistant hearing aids or to schedule an appointment, call the Hearing & Balance Center at Charleston ENT today.