Millions of Americans suffer from some degree of hearing loss. Many people don’t think about this serious problem until they are faced with it. Fortunately, modern medicine can bring back a person’s lost hearing. Using hearing aids is a great way to do this.
Modern hearing aids not only effectively combat the problem, but are also comfortable to wear daily. There are many types and styles of hearing aids on the market today. Therefore, a person can choose the most suitable device, taking into account all the nuances and needs.
Every year manufacturers improve hearing aids technologies, releasing more and more advanced products, among which waterproof devices hold a special place. Are these devices as good in everyday life as their creators claim? Let’s look at this together.
Are you looking for waterproof hearing aids?
Have you ever had your hearing aid exposed to moisture while playing sports, swimming, boating, or relaxing in the pool or on the waterfront? Or did you forget to remove the device before the shower? No? Are you sure, it won’t happen to you?
People who find themselves in a similar situation know that moisture, getting into the hearing aid, most often breaks it. This translates into additional spending of time and money on repairing it or buying a new model.
Moisture is a dangerous enemy for any device. Tiny electronic parts and contacts of the hearing aid are destroyed when it gets inside. Anyone who uses such a device knows that a hearing aid will perform better if kept clean and dry. Even a small amount of moisture can be detrimental to your device!
Like any electronic device, a hearing aid requires special handling and timely service. You need to take care of your device daily, to maximize its life.
That is why manufacturers have started to produce waterproof models, protected from moisture exposure and, therefore, from its harmful effects.
Waterproof hearing aids will be especially useful for you if:
You lead an active lifestyle and often find yourself close to water (swimming, fishing, boating, etc.)
You sweat a lot. If you do not part with the towel, as you constantly need to wipe the sweat from your forehead, then it is likely that this abundance of moisture poses a certain danger to your hearing aids
You live in a humid Nature sometimes dictates its own conditions and a device with a high moisture resistance index can become the real solution during the wet season
You want extra protection for your devices. Some people who use hearing aids find that their models are so comfortable that they occasionally forget about them. As a result, they jump into the shower without taking them off
Even if you do not find yourself in the mentioned groups, waterproof hearing aids remain an excellent solution when choosing a specific model. Additional moisture protection is never superfluous because you can always get caught in the pouring rain and wet your devices!
Do waterproof hearing aids really work?
We’ve already seen that waterproof hearing aids are a great option for many patients. But are they as well protected from moisture as the manufacturers claim? In fact, everything is not as straightforward as it might seem at first glance.
Both waterproof and water-resistant hearing aids exist on the market today. How do they differ from each other?
Water-resistant hearing aids
The name of the device means that the hearing aid is protected from moisture damage. The model is great for everyday use or for people with increased sweating. Water-resistant hearing aids do not have a high degree of protection, so devices can be damaged if directly immersed in water.
Waterproof hearing aids
Such devices have the highest degree of protection (see below). Thanks to this, you can dive with them underwater. But, as with any similar device (smartphone, camera, etc.), the immersion depth and time are small. It is a great option for athletes (swimming, water polo, etc.) and people with water hobbies.
We have extensive experience working with hearing aids. Therefore, we know well the operation and capabilities of devices from all well-known manufacturers, including their waterproof properties. Thus, our leading audiologist, Dr. Stella Fulman notes that most of the hearing aids on the market are water-resistant, not waterproof.
How to do the right thing and not fall for the marketing gimmick when choosing a hearing aid? The most correct solution would be to seek help from an audiologist. The specialist will select the most suitable device from all types and styles of hearing aids, taking into account their waterproof capabilities.
But if you still decide to purchase hearing aids online, then pay attention to the IPX rating, which consists of two digits. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) assigns it to each device after rigorous laboratory testing. The first number characterizes the device’s protection against dust, sand, and other debris. The rating is carried out on a scale from 1 to 7. The second number indicates the degree of resistance of the device to moisture. The assessment is carried out on a scale from 1 to 9.
For example, hearing aids with IP 67 are highly resistant to dust and particulate matter. The device has been tested in underwater conditions for at least half an hour.
How do I extend the life of waterproof hearing aids?
You have purchased waterproof hearing aids with an IP67 rating. Does this mean that you can immerse the devices in water for a long time? Not really. Even despite the high degree of protection, manufacturers do not recommend staying with them in water for a long time.
Why is that? Laboratory research is carried out under ideal conditions and in freshwater. Everyday use creates a different environment for devices. For example, seawater or its long-term exposure is detrimental to waterproof hearing aids. Of course, this does not mean that waterproof hearing aids will fail when exposed to water. Moisture exposure will not affect the performance of the devices in any way. However, you should also take care of and clean them:
Use dehumidifier for hearing aids. This very inexpensive device can extend the life of your device
Wipe your devices with a dry and clean cloth before bed
Every 2 weeks, carry out a complete cleaning of the devices using special tools
Before going to bed, remove the batteries and leave the lid open so that any moisture, which may have accumulated inside during the day, evaporates
By following these simple tips, you will significantly extend the life of your devices.
Remember, when choosing a hearing aid, you should describe your lifestyle to the audiologist in as much detail as possible. Based on this, the hearing care professional will select the model that best suits your needs.
Waterproof hearing aids withstand most of what is found in everyday life. But, despite this, it is necessary to remember that all devices like cleanliness and dryness. Compliance with these rules will allow you to enjoy the trouble-free operation of your device for as long as possible.
About Dr Stella Fulman
Dr. Stella Fulman, AU.D., CCC-A received her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Audiology from Brooklyn College in 2004 and her Doctorate of Audiology from Salus University in 2008. [ Learn More ]