Are my hearing aids water resistant?

Particularly during the summer, patients wonder about the water resistancy of their hearing aids. It is a great question! Today we will discuss how much moisture hearing aids can handle and some tips and tricks to protect your hearing aids from too much moisture.

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) tests hearing aids to determine how resistant they are to elements such as dust and water. The IEC gives hearing aids a rating called an IP (or Ingress Protection) rating. The IP rating has two digits. The first digit is a number 1-7 that rates the hearing aid’s protection against debris such as dust or sand. The second digit is a number 1-9 that rates the hearing aid’s protection against moisture. As an example, a hearing aid with an IP rating of 58 has a level 5 out of 7 protection against solid debris and a level 8 out of 9 protection against moisture. A level 8 protection against moisture means the hearing aid is protected against immersion in water beyond one meter. This is really good for an electronic device!

Even though hearing aids have come a long way in their protection against moisture and debris, it is still best to take some protective measures to preserve the life of your hearing aids and ensure they keep working well for you. You should take out your hearing aids when you are taking a bath or shower or going swimming. It is also best not to store your hearing aids in the bathroom where they will be exposed to more moisture. If you are going from inside to your car and it is drizzling, they should be able to handle that amount of moisture. However, if you are going to be deep sea fishing in a torrential downpour, you will need to take your hearing aids out and protect them!

If your hearing aids are exposed to moisture, the first step is to wipe them with a dry cloth. Then you want to place them in a hearing aid dehumidifier. Most hearing aid dehumidifiers are a round jar with a case of desiccant beads on the bottom. The hearing aids sit in the jar, and the desiccant beads will pull out moisture from the hearing aids. When the beads are orange, they are ready to absorb moisture. When they have turned a dark greenish brown color, they are full of moisture. You can revive the beads by placing just the case of beads in the microwave. Heat them for about 20 seconds and then shake them. If they have not turned orange again yet, heat them for another 20 seconds until they turn orange again. You can revive the beads several times before you need to purchase new desiccant beads.

If you are especially prone to producing a lot of sweat, it could be worthwhile to invest in an electric dehumidifier to dry out your hearing aids and protect the electrical components. Another step to take if you are prone to sweating is investing in some hearing aid sweat bands. Sweat bands are like a little sweater for your hearing aids that help protect the internal components of the hearing aid. They are removable and washable.

If you have any questions about how to protect your hearing aids from moisture, please do not hesitate to reach out to your team of audiologists at Professional Hearing Center. We are happy to help!

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