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 enjoy going in the water. When you were a kid, everyone said you were part fish because you loved to swim so much the pool was your second home. Today, the water seems a little… louder… than usual. And that’s when you realize you may have made a mistake: you wore your hearing aids into the pool. And you aren’t really sure those little electronic devices are waterproof.

Generally, this would be somewhat of a worry. Hearing aids are typically designed with some amount of water resistance in mind. But being resistant to water isn’t the same as actually being waterproof.

Water resistance ratings and hearing aids

Generally speaking, your hearing aids are going to function best when they are kept dry and clean. But some hearing aids are designed so a little splatter here and there won’t be a problem. The IP rating is the official water resistance number and determines how water resistant a hearing aid is.

Here’s how the IP rating works: every device is given a two-digit number. The first number signifies the device’s resistance to sand, dust, and other kinds of dry erosion.

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

Some modern hearing aids can be very water-resistant. But there aren’t any hearing aids currently available that are entirely waterproof.

Is water resistance worthwhile?

The sophisticated electronics inside of your hearing aid case aren’t going to mesh well with water. 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, try not to use them in overly 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 situations where a high IP rating will definitely be advantageous:

  • If you have a heavy sweating problem
  • If you live in a fairly humid, rainy, or wet climate
  • You have a proclivity for water sports (such as boating or fishing); the spray from the boat could warrant high IP rated hearing aids
  • There have been occasions when you’ve forgotten to remove your hearing aids before going into the rain or shower

This is surely not an exhaustive list. Naturally, what level of water resistance will be adequate for your day-to-day life will only be able to be determined after a consultation.

You have to take care of your hearing aids

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

You may, in some situations, need to purchase a dehumidifier. In other cases, it may just mean storing your hearing aids in a clean dry place at night (it depends on your climate). And it will be necessary to completely clean and remove any residue left behind by certain 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 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. At the very least, try not to forget to remove your hearing aids before you go swimming. The drier your hearing devices remain, 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.