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Waterproof vs Water Resistant Hearing Aids: You Need to Hear This!

Hearing Aids

Just because you wear hearing aids doesn't mean you shouldn't enjoy summer fun, and water-resistant hearing aids may be the perfect solution. However, what does water-resistant hearing aids really mean? 

Does water-resistance mean the hearing aids are waterproof? Is there a difference? At North Shore Hearing P.C., we've created a quick, easy-to-read guide to water-resistant hearing aids. Continue reading to learn more, and don't hesitate to reach out to the team at North Shore Hearing P.C. for more on water-resistant hearing aids. 

What Are Water-Resistant Hearing Aids? 

Depending on who you ask, this answer may vary. However, at North Shore Hearing P.C. we — and the majority of the industry — define water-resistant hearing aids as those that can be exposed to a small amount of water for a short period of time and continue working. If your hearing aids are defined as water-resistant, it's best you avoid extended exposure to humidity and water. 

Failure to do so could result in damage to some of the most delicate parts, which would cause your hearing aids to stop working. Most importantly, water-resistant doesn't mean waterproof (we'll discuss in the section below). In other words, you shouldn't go swimming or take a shower if you're wearing water-resistant hearing aids. While the level of water resistance can vary, many are designed to continue performing if you do get a few drops of sweat or rain in them. 

Why Choose Water-Resistant Hearing Aids

Water-resistant hearing aids are designed with a protective sealant or coating that forms a barrier of moisture protection. Even if you have water-resistant hearing aids, it's still a good idea to dry your aids out with a dehumidifier if they are exposed to long-term moisture or humidity. 

You should consider a pair of water-resistant aids if you live in humid areas and areas close to the ocean, like Long Island. Another reason people consider water-resistant hearing aids is if they produce excessive earwax or have oily skin. People who are forgetful or absent-minded may also find ample benefit in water-resistant hearing aids. 

Water-resistant hearing aids can also continue to function if you get caught in a downpour— depending on the device. It's important to understand that most water-resistant hearing aids are not safe to submerge, such as if you're swimming in a pool

Are Water-Proof Hearing Aids Better?

We get it — accidents do happen. Almost everyone has spilled a beverage on a keyboard or fell into a pool with their smartphone. And while waterproof smartphones and waterproof smartwatches are definitely in vogue, waterproof hearing aids do not exist. A few years ago, there was a waterproof hearing aid option manufactured by Siemens, but this product is of the market today

Are All Water-Resistant Hearing Aids Made Equal? 

If you're looking for the best water-resistant hearing aids, it's important to understand they are not made equally. Virtually every hearing aid is tested by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to determine their level of resistance to water, dust, and other elements. Each hearing aid device will receive a two-digit score or rating — called Ingress Protection (IP)— from the IEC. 

The first score rates the hearing aid's degree of protection against sand, dust, and other debris. This rating can range from 1-7 where 1 means less protection and 7 means the highest level of protection, The second digit indicates how resistant the device is to moisture and can range from 1-9. 

So a hearing aid with an IP 67 rating suggests it has very high protection against solid objects and moisture. On the other hand, a device with an IP54 rating will protect against most dust invasion and offer median protection from liquids. You can work with your North Shore Hearing hearing specialist to select the best hearing aids for your unique lifestyle. 

Keep Your Hearing Aids Dry to Protect Your Investment

Regardless of your situation or the IP rating on your hearing aids, they are designed to perform best dry. And there are a few key steps you can take to help keep your hearing aids as clean and dry as possible. By implementing the following steps every night, you can help keep your hearing aids working efficiently and extend their life. 

  1. Wipe your hearing aids down. Prior to going to bed, it's best to remove your batteries and clean your device with a dust-free, dry cloth. 

  2. Leave the compartment door for the batteries open until the morning. This simple step will promote the evaporation of any moisture accumulated during the day. 

  3. Consider investing in a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier is a relatively inexpensive piece of equipment designed to house your hearing aids overnight and simultaneously remove moisture. 

Contact North Shore Hearing P.C. Today

If you're unsure as to the best hearing aids for your unique needs and lifestyle, the experts at North Shore Hearing P.C. can help. We offer a range of different types of hearing aids, including water-resistant devices. We'll match your unique needs to the best solution

Contact North Shore Hearing P.C. today. 

Diane Faulknor, MA, CCC/A

After 18 years of experience in the field of audiology and hearing aid dispensing, I felt it was time to start my own practice which has led to the creation of North Shore Hearing, P.C. I take pride in the care I provide for my patients as hearing is not just a medical issues we need to deal with, but also the social and lifestyle ramifications that people with poor hearing live with on a day-to-day basis. Based on not only your hearing loss, but also the type of lifestyle you lead, we'll work together to fit you with the most appropriate hearing aid available in today's marketplace.

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