Are you wondering if hearing aids can get wet? Water and moisture can be a major concern for hearing aid wearers since any liquid entering the device might cause irreparable damage. Fortunately, with more technological advancements than ever, most devices on the market are water-resistant and can handle some moisture.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss how much water is acceptable for your hearing aids and what to do if they become submerged or accidentally come into contact with other liquids. Stay tuned as we explore this subject further!
Can Hearing Aids Get Wet?
If you’re considering getting hearing aids, you may be wondering: can hearing aids get wet? The short answer is yes – but not all hearing aids are created equal regarding water resistance. All hearing aids receive two “IP” (Ingress Protection) ratings. The first is from 1 to 6 to determine how resistant they are to dust.
The second digit, rated on a scale from 1 to 9, indicates how resistant the electrical device is to moisture. A hearing aid with a high rating, such as IP67, is highly protected against solid objects such as sand or dust and has been tested to work for at least 30 minutes in water less than three feet deep. So, if you’re looking for a truly waterproof device, ensure it has at least an 8 on its water resistance rating.
At a rating of IP68, a device should resist full immersion in water under higher pressure for longer periods. Although even then, it’s probably best not to try and push the limits of your device’s water resistance to the max. Most manufacturers intentionally avoid the potential liability by explicitly claiming to be “waterproof” even if their device meets the required standards. Remembering their hesitation when subjecting your potentially pricey hearing device to extreme conditions is probably best.
Recommended Waterproof Hearing Aid
Is Paying For Better Water Resistance Worth It?
Are you someone who perspires heavily or lives in a humid and wet climate? Or maybe you’re an avid boater or fisherman enjoying your time on the water. If any of these scenarios apply to you, a hearing aid with a high IP rating might be worth considering. Likewise, if you’re someone who is forgetful or absent-minded, it’s easy to forget to remove your hearing aids before activities where they can get wet.
Unfortunately, moisture damage is commonly why hearing aids are returned for repair. Protecting your devices can prolong their lifespan and prevent costly repairs unless you opt for a waterproof model. With the above being said, we ask the same question, can hearing aids get wet? Possibly, it’s certainly not ideal. However, if yours are frequently in conditions where moisture exposure is a likely risk then it’s probably worth it to make sure yours can resist the exposure.
- Alternative Precautions
If you haven’t gotten yourself a pair of high IP resistance rating hearing aids, then your answer to the question of can hearing aids get wet will generally be along the lines of not if you want them to remain functional. Luckily, there are a few cheap alternative solutions that can help put your mind at ease.
Storing your device in a waterproof container is an excellent way to protect it from water damage. Even a simple Ziploc baggie can make a difference in an emergency. If you are around water but not necessarily in it, you might also want to consider a water-resistant protective sleeve for added protection. And don’t forget about using a clip or cord to keep your device attached to your person so that it won’t accidentally end up falling into a harmful environment. With these precautions, you can enjoy your favorite outdoor activities without worrying as much about your hearing device.
- Damage Control
Accidents can happen even with the best of precautions. If you find yourself in a situation where your hearing aids have come into contact with water and are beyond their resistance rating, don’t be too quick to panic. The first and most important step is to remove the hearing aids from the water immediately and dry them off as quickly as you can. Remember to turn them off and keep them powered down until the drying process is complete. Take out the batteries and dry the battery compartment. If you have Zinc-air batteries, you should dispose of them entirely. After you remove as much moisture as possible via gentle shaking and wiping, the next step is dehumidification.
You can try a few cheap methods, such as using uncooked rice. For example, just put one cup of uncooked rice in a zip-top bag with your hearing aid components and leave it sealed overnight. However, if you can afford a dedicated dehumidifying device, this will likely be a more effective and useful solution.
NOTE: Keep hearing aids away from direct heat sources, like radiators, which can cause significant damage. Avoid placing your hearing aids in a microwave or oven, even when you’re in a rush to get them dry since the components will melt and become irreparable. If your device gets wet with dirty or salty water, more water might actually be required. You should rinse your device immediately with fresh water and then follow the regular dehumidification process.
After all, it’s best not to let any foreign particulate matter or potentially corrosive salt dry into your electronic device. While using a hairdryer on the cool setting is an option for drying, it’s crucial to avoid blowing hot air directly onto the hearing device at all costs. By taking good care of your hearing aids, you can enjoy better hearing and a longer lifespan for your device.
After you’ve dried your hearing aids and replaced the battery, power them on, and check if they’re working correctly. If persistent issues present themselves, then contacting an audiologist for repair is essential. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, try to minimize exposure to moisture beyond or near the limits of your hearing device’s moisture resistance rating. After all, once you’ve exceeded the rating it’s impossible to guarantee that your hearing aids will come out of the encounter completely undamaged. Ultimately hearing aids are delicate electronic devices that require careful handling to maintain their functionality. Unfortunately, accidents can happen, and exposure to moisture is an all too common occurrence even despite best efforts.
Paying The Premium For Convenience
When it comes to hearing aids, one of the most common concerns is if they can get wet. While manufacturers shy away from using the term “waterproof,” most premium hearing aids purchased in recent years have at least an IP67 rating. This means they can withstand being submerged in up to one meter of water for at least 30 minutes. While it’s not recommended to go swimming with your hearing aids or drop them in a lake, they should be just fine after a quick submersion in the shower or even a coffee mug spill.
However, investing in an IP68-rated hearing aid might be a smart move. Now, you have an effectively waterproof unit that could save you the cost of dealing with moisture-related damage. Although even then, it’s best to treat your hearing device with a healthy degree of care and precaution.
Can Hearing Aids Get Wet Conclusion
It’s important to keep in mind that being water-resistant doesn’t mean waterproof. Always be mindful of your hearing aids and their limitations when it comes to the environment. While better water resistance isn’t cheap, if you often find yourself in situations where water can easily get on your hearing aids, those few extra bucks could be necessary for your device’s protection. Just remember not to needlessly expose them to water and remember the alternative precautions offered for times when you do.
Be sure to follow any specific instructions given by the supplier or manufacturer of your hearing support, all these tips may apply but if a tailor-made solution is available then stick with that. If the worst happens, it’s not over yet, you always have damage control options (but avoid using direct heat).
Keeping your hearing aids away from humid/moist environments is generally recommended. If you feel more comfortable with shelling out a little extra, then pay the premium for higher-end hearing aids as they usually include convenience features like genuine waterproofing or rather as close to it as you can reasonably get, which can definitely make a difference in our lives. Ultimately consider the costs and consult with your audiologist to select the right device – this way you’ll be assured that you are always wearing something reliable and safe at all times!
Florida License: AS-2471 – NPI: 1992749147
Ivonne Baixeras is a Florida-Licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist with a track record of almost three decades treating hearing problems in Miami-Dade County and serving the needs of thousands of satisfied patients. Ivonne is a graduate of both Miami-Dade College & Florida International University and worked for many years at the largest national chain of hearing clinics in the US where she's received multiple awards.