Wet Hearing Aids: Here’s How To Save Them

wet hearing aids

Source: Phonak

Did you accidentally shower with your hearing aids in and are now worried about having ruined your devices? Don’t panic! Here’s what to do when your hearing aids get wet. 

Hearing aids are small electronic devices. It is common knowledge that water and electricity don’t mix well. Even the best hearing aids only offer so much protection from humidity.  

This can quickly become an issue for hearing aid wearers who love to explore the outdoors and enjoy a great variety of activities that raise concerns regarding the water safety of their devices. It may also cause you headaches in the odd case that you forgot to remove your devices before a bath. 

And whilst it would theoretically be beneficial for hearing aids to be 100% waterproof, there are many reasons why they are not. In saying this, most hearing aids are somewhat water-resistant and can handle a little moisture or water. 

So what happens when your hearing aids get wet? Is it a cause for concern? What can you do to keep them working efficiently? 

To answer these questions, we’ll look at the levels of water resistance in hearing aids and how to care for water-resistant hearing aids properly. 

Determine Whether Your Hearing Aids Are “Waterproof” 

First of all, there’s no such thing as 100% waterproof hearing aids. However, there are levels of “proof”, and even those advertised as “waterproof” have resistant depths that the device may be submerged underwater for before they are likely to be damaged. 

If you ever come across hearing aids being advertised as “waterproof”, it is likely a marketing ploy, and the devices are water-resistant, not waterproof.

phonak

Source: www.Phonak.com.au

There’s no such thing as waterproof hearing aids 

The Cambridge dictionary defines waterproof as “not allowing water to go through”. 

This would mean that your hearing aids would need to be built in a way that does not allow water to enter the device. In an ideal world, waterproof hearing aids would be able to function normally while withstanding constant contact with water over an extended period.

Realistically, because of the way hearing aids function, it is nearly impossible to achieve this. This makes them prone to the corrosive effects of humidity and perspiration.

Truly waterproof hearing aids are extremely rare, however, certain brands and types may be more water-resistant than others.

Water-resistant hearing aids are the way to go

Water-resistant hearing aids protect against water damage – to a certain degree. This is because they can withstand some moisture but not be fully submerged in water. 

This means you don’t need to worry if you get caught in the rain – or the shower. However, you still won’t be able to dive into the pool wearing your hearing aids.  

The Appeal of ‘Water-Resistant’ Hearing Aids 

While hearing aids are beneficial devices that may significantly improve your quality of life, you should always consider that they can also hinder certain activities. 

The water-resistance of your hearing aid may be a concern if you:

  • Participate in aquatic activities.
  • Live in a place with a very humid or rainy climate.
  • Want to wear your hearing aids during strenuous exercise.
  • Are worried about your hearing aids suffering accidental damage or destruction from water or other liquids.

How Water-Resistant Are Your Hearing Aids?

There is an easy way to help you distinguish between a marketing ploy and the actual water resistance of your hearing aids. 

If you’re looking to purchase hearing aids, you should always check the product’s IPX rating

Nowadays, hearing aids have to undergo a rigorous testing process before they’re approved for the general public. 

As part of the standard tests, all hearing aids receive ab “IPX” ratings from 1 to 8 to determine how resistant they are to water.

The greater the IPX rating, the greater the device’s water resistance

IPX rating

Caring for Hearing Aids With a Low IPX Rating

Suppose you’ve taken a shower with what turned out to be hearing aids with no to very little water protection.

If you hear static or crackling sounds, distorted noises or fluctuations in volume or experience intermittent outages, stop wearing your hearing aids immediately and take them to your Audiologist for a service.

This is a clear indication that your hearing aids have suffered from water damage.

If this is not the case, you should get the moisture out of your hearing aids by putting them in a drying container or dehumidifier without wasting time. 

The sooner the hearing aid is removed, dried, and power is disabled, the better the long term outcome that the hearing aid will not be damaged. Loss and damage cover is available through some manufacturers, so if you seek a replacement, please contact a friendly EarDeals hearing aid broker for this next step!

Caring for Water-Resistant Hearing Aids

Whether your hearing aids are marketed as water-resistant or waterproof, considering their electronic nature, you need to take good care of them. 

Although a high IPX rating theoretically gives your hearing aids some degree of protection, this doesn’t factor in contaminants from the ocean, pool, or even your sweat. 

To increase the lifespan of waterproof or water-resistant hearing aids, there are several things you should do regularly:

  • To remove any water and moisture quickly, remove the batteries, wipe down the device and air it out. 
  • When exercising, use a sweatband to reduce sweat from hindering the device. 
  • For hearing aids with disposable batteries, keep the battery compartment open overnight to allow any moisture to evaporate.
  • Consider purchasing a dehumidifier available with all big brand hearing aids at EarDeals.

Like most rechargeable hearing aids, water-resistant models now come in a charging case that includes a built-in dehumidifier. This helps to keep the hearing aids dry while they charge overnight. 

Phonak, Signia, Resound and Unitron all offer their own versions of these charging cases.

Water-resistant hearing aids are usually a little more expensive due to the increased technological complexity and materials involved. 

So it is important to consider your lifestyle and whether or not a water-resistant hearing aid would benefit you. 

Fortunately, many hearing models today include some degree of moisture resistance that can protect them during brief contact with water. 

Ensure to pay attention to the IPX Rating when making your final decision. 

The Top Water-Resistant Hearing Aids

Ear Deals offers a range of hearing aids with various levels of water resistance. 

Phonak

The Phonak Paradise series hearing aids are not just water-resistant with an IPX rating of 8 but also highly resistant to debris, dust, and even sand. 

The water resistance includes the ability to withstand a light shower, sweat during heavy activity and even large splashes or waves.

Recently, Phonak has announced a brand-new, 100% waterproof hearing aid: The Phonak Audeo Life. Due for release at the end of 2021 in Australia!

Naturally, we’ve covered the announcement of this world-first in a separate post to keep you up to date! 

Unitron

Unitron has developed the Moxi series with all hearing aids rated at 8 IPX. 

This means that these hearing aids can withstand accidental splashing, plus excess humidity, sweating, and accidental use in the pool or shower, without damaging the electronics within.

Signia 

Changing how we hear the world, Signia’s AX range of hearing aids is the top choice for those who don’t want to compromise sound experience over waterproof features. 

Resound 

Last but not least, Resound One hearing aids allow you to hear like no other. For most natural sound quality, even in challenging environments, Resound is your safest bet. 

Seek the advice of hearing professionals for help choosing the best hearing aid for you. 

Contact Ear Deals at 1300 010 064 for more information.

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