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 a kid, everyone said you were part fish–that’s how often you wanted to go swimming). Today, the water seems a little… louder… than usual. And then you recognize your oversight: you went in the pool with your hearing aid in. And you don’t know if it’s waterproof or not.

In most scenarios, you’re right to be a bit worried. Hearing aids are often constructed with some level of water resistance in mind. But a device that resists water is much different than a device that’s waterproof.

Hearing aids and water resistance ratings

Generally speaking, your hearing aids are going to work best when they are kept clean and dry. But some hearing aids are made so a little splash now and then won’t be a problem. The IP rating is the official water resistance figure and establishes how water resistant a hearing aid is.

The IP number works by assigning every device a two digit number. The first number signifies the device’s resistance against dirt, dust, and other forms of dry erosion.

The second digit (and the one we’re really considering here) represents how resistant your device is to water. The device will last longer under water the higher this number is. So if a device has a rating of IP87 it will have very strong resistance to dry erosion and will be fine under water for about 30 minutes.

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 won’t do well with water. Typically, you’ll want to remove your hearing aids before you go swimming or jump in the shower or depending on the IP rating, go outside in excessively humid weather. No level of water resistance will help if you drop your hearing aids in the deep end of the pool, but there are some circumstances in which a high IP rating will definitely be advantageous:

  • If you perspire substantially, whether at rest or when exercising (sweat, after all, is a kind of water)
  • There have been occasions when you’ve forgotten to remove your hearing aids before going into the rain or shower
  • You have a passion for water sports (like boating or fishing); the spray from the boat could warrant high IP rated hearing aids
  • If the environment where you live is rainy or excessively humid

This list is only the tip of the iceberg. Naturally, what degree of water resistance will be enough for your daily life will only be able to be identified after a consultation.

You have to care for your hearing aids

It’s worthwhile to mention that water-resistant does not mean maintenance-free. You will need to keep your hearing aids clean and dry.

You may, in some circumstances, need to get 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 the proper time to clean your hearing aids completely.

What should you do if your hearing aids get wet?

If waterproof hearing aids don’t exist, should you panic when your devices get wet? Well, no–mostly because panicking won’t improve anything anyway. But you will want to carefully allow your hearing aids to dry and check in with us to make sure that they aren’t damaged, especially if they have a low IP rating.

How much damage your hearing aid has sustained can be estimated based on the IP rating. At the very least, try not to forget to take your hearing aids out before you go swimming. It’s best to keep your hearing aids as dry as you can.

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.