Texas Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists, LLP - Bedford, Grapevine, Southlake, and Flower Mound, TX

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

You enjoy swimming and are all about being 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 go swimming). The water seems a little…louder… than usual today. 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 concern. Usually, modern 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 clean and dry is the best way to keep them in good working order. But for the majority of hearing aids, it won’t be a big deal if you get a little water on them. The IP rating is the established water resistance number and determines 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 forms of dry erosion is represented by the first number.

The second digit (and the one we’re really considering here) signifies how resistant your hearing aid is to water. The greater the number, the longer the device will last under water. So a device that has a rating of IP87 will be very resistant to sand and function for about thirty minutes in water.

Some contemporary hearing aids can be quite water-resistant. But there aren’t any 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. Normally, 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. No amount of water resistance will help if you drop your hearing aids in the deep end of the pool, but there are some scenarios where a high IP rating will absolutely be to your advantage:

  • You enjoy boating or other water activities that generate over-spray
  • There have been times when you’ve forgotten to remove your hearing aids before going into the rain or shower
  • If you sweat significantly, whether at rest or when exercising (sweat, after all, is a type of water)
  • If the climate where you live is rainy or excessively humid

This list is only a small sample. It’ll be up to you and your hearing specialist to consider your daily life and decide just what kind of water resistance is strong enough for your life.

Your hearing aids need to be taken care of

Your hearing aid is not maintenance-free just because it’s resistant to water. Between sweat-filled runs, it will be wise to make sure that you clean your hearing aids and keep them dry.

You might, in some circumstances, need to purchase a dehumidifier. But in most cases, a nice dry storage place will work fine (depending on where you live). But some types of moisture can leave residue (sweat among them), so to get the best results, you will also want to take enough time to clean your hearing aids completely.

If your hearing aids get wet, what should you do?

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. Mostly because panicking never helps anyway so it’s best to remain calm. But you will want to completely let your hearing aid 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 approximated based on the IP rating. If you can avoid getting your hearing aids wet, you will get the best results. It’s best to keep your hearing aids as dry as you can.

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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.