Are Hearing Aids Waterproof?

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

You love swimming and are all about going into the water. When you were younger, everyone said you were part fish because you liked to swim so much the pool was your second home. The water seems a bit…louder… than normal today. And that’s when you notice you might have made a mistake: you wore your hearing aids into the pool. And you aren’t entirely sure those tiny electronic devices are waterproof.

Usually, 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 is not 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 manufactured so a little splatter here and there won’t be a big deal. The IP rating is the established water resistance figure and identifies how water resistant a hearing aid is.

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

The number here that we’re really considering though, is the second digit which signifies the hearing aid’s resistance to water. The device will last longer under water the greater this number is. So a device with a rating of IP87 will be very resistant to sand and function for about thirty minutes in water.

Although there are no hearing aids currently available that are entirely waterproof, there are some that can have a high water resistance rating.

Is water resistance worthwhile?

The intricate electronics inside your hearing aid case aren’t going to do 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 absolutely be advantageous:

  • If you have a heavy sweating issue
  • You enjoy boating or other water activities that generate over-spray
  • If the environment where you live is rainy or overly humid
  • There have been occasions when you’ve forgotten to take your hearing aid out before going into the rain or shower

This list is only the tip of the iceberg. Of course, what level 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

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

You might, in some circumstances, need to get a dehumidifier. In other circumstances, it might just mean storing your hearing aids in a nice dry place at night (it depends on your climate). And it will be necessary to thoroughly clean and remove any residue left behind by some moistures including sweat.

What can you do if your hearing aids get wet?

Just because waterproof hearing aids don’t exist doesn’t mean you need to panic if your hearing aid gets wet. Well, no–mostly because getting panicked 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, particularly if they have a low IP rating.

The IP rating on your hearing aid will give you a concept 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.