Do They Make Hearing Aids That Are Waterproof?

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

As a swimmer, you love going in the water. The pool is like your second home (when you were younger, everybody said you were part fish–that’s how often you wanted to swim). Today, the water sounds a little… louder… than usual. And that’s when you realize you may have made a mistake: you brought your hearing aids into the pool. And you aren’t really certain those tiny electronic devices are waterproof.

Generally, this would be somewhat of a concern. Normally, contemporary hearing aids are resistant to water to some degree. But a device that resists water is much different than a device that’s waterproof.

Water resistance ratings and hearing aids

Generally speaking, your hearing aids are going to work 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 number and establishes how water resistant a hearing aid is.

The IP number works by assigning every hearing aid a two digit number. The device’s resistance to dust, sand, and other forms of dry erosion is delineated by the first digit.

The second digit (and the one we’re really considering here) represents how resistant your hearing aid is to water. The greater the number, the longer the device will last under water. So if a device has a rating of IP87 it will have very strong resistance to dry erosion and will be okay under water for around a half hour.

Although there aren’t any hearing aids currently available that are entirely waterproof, there are some that can have a high water resistance rating.

Is water resistance worthwhile?

Your hearing aids have advanced technology inside them which can be damaged by moisture. Before you go swimming or into the shower you will definitely want to take out your hearing aid and depending on the IP rating, try not to use 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 situations where a high IP rating will absolutely be to your advantage:

  • You have a history of forgetting to take your hearing aids out before you shower or go out into the rain
  • You love boating or other water activities that produce over-spray
  • If you live in a fairly humid, rainy, or wet climate
  • If you perspire significantly, whether at rest or when exercising (sweat, after all, is a form of water)

This list is only a small sample. It’ll be up to you and your hearing specialist to take a look at your daily life and identify just what type of water resistance is strong enough for your routine.

You have to take care of your hearing aids

Your hearing aid isn’t maintenance-free just because it’s water resistant. You will need to keep your hearing aids clean and dry.

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

What should 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? Mostly because panicking never improves the situation 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 sure that they aren’t damaged, particularly if they have a low IP rating.

The IP rating on your hearing aid 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. The drier your hearing devices stay, the better.

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.