Waterproof hearing aids should be considered water-resistant more than completely waterproof, but the lifestyle choices you get are impressive.

Everything You Need to Know About Waterproof Hearing Aids

by | Jun 25, 2023 | Hearing Aids, Patient Resources, Technology

I hear from patients all the time about how frustrating it can be to have to remove hearing aids whenever they want to take a shower or go swimming. With waterproof hearing aids, however, they can enjoy these activities without the hassle of constantly removing and reinserting their devices.

Additional situations where waterproof hearing aids would be beneficial, include:

  • If you’re prone to Sweating heavily and you’re constantly wiping perspiration from your face
  • Live in a humid climate
  • Enjoy water-related hobbies or lifestyles, such as sailing or fishing
  • Often forget to take out your hearing aids when stepping into the shower, the pool, or the ocean

That’s why I’m excited to share this summary about waterproof hearing aids, including the benefits, different types available, and even tips on properly caring for them.

The Benefits of Waterproof Hearing Aids

The most obvious benefit of waterproof hearing aids is that they allow you to engage in activities previously off-limit. Whether you enjoy swimming laps, participating in sports such as water polo, or simply soaking in the tub, you no longer have to worry about damaging your hearing aids or going without them.

Waterproof hearing aids also provide a greater sense of security if you’re prone to accidents or unexpected exposure to moisture.

What’s more, waterproof hearing aids tend to be more durable than their non-waterproof counterparts. They are designed to withstand the wear and tear of everyday use better than the competition. So you’ll probably save money over the long run.

They are most correctly referred to as water-resistant hearing aids, but the best-rated models are effectively waterproof as long as you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. So now for the big question…

Can You Swim or Shower with Hearing Aids?

If you’re planning on swimming with your hearing aids, make sure they’re rated for submersion in water. They must be designed to withstand the pressure and moisture associated with swimming.

As for showering, keep your head tilted slightly to the side while actually under the shower head. This helps prevent water from getting inside your ear canal and potentially damaging your hearing. And regardless of whether you’ve been swimming or showering, always dry your hearing aids thoroughly afterward.

Follow all the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use. This will help prevent moisture from building up inside your devices and potentially causing damage.

How are Waterproof Hearing Aids Rated?

In general, you’re relatively safe with any hearing aid with an IP68 rating.

IP is short for Ingress Protection rating. It’s the international standard for the degree of protection or sealing effectiveness against water or dust.

The first digit in an IP rating shows the device’s protection against dust (on a scale of 1-6), and the second digit indicates protection against moisture (on a scale of 1-9).

Therefore, the top IP rating possible is IP69. However, no hearing aids on the market currently have an IP69 rating.

The best you can do is IP68, which is fully protected against dust and protected against full water immersion in water as deep as 10 feet (or three meters).

We can help you find the right hearing aid technology

However, how long a waterproof hearing aid can last in such conditions is something that needs to be checked with the manufacturer. Remember that waterproof hearing aids are most correctly thought of as “water-resistant” hearing aids and can’t take unlimited exposure to water or moisture.

For example, some hearing aid makers may not want you to submerge your hearing aids for more than 30 minutes. Others don’t want their devices in water deeper than two feet. Always check with professionals before buying a pair of hearing aids to be sure you’re getting devices that fit well with your expected use case.

Hearing Aid ProtectorsDo You Need Them?

While waterproof hearing aids are designed to be durable and long lasting, it’s still a good idea to use hearing aid protectors to help extend the life of your devices.

Hearing aid protectors are small cases or covers that shield your hearing aids from moisture, dirt, and other potential hazards. They keep your hearing aids safer and drier while swimming or participating in other water-related activities.

The higher the IP rating of your hearing aids, the less likely you are to need protectors.

How to Dry Off Wet Hearing Aids

So you’ve just been swimming, in the shower, or caught in a sudden rainstorm. Now that your hearing aids are wet, it’s important to dry them thoroughly as soon as possible.

This prevents damage, and the best way to do this is with hearing aid dryers or dehumidifiers. These devices remove moisture from your hearing aids and help prevent damage caused by humidity. Alternatively, you can use a soft, dry cloth to gently wipe down your hearing aids and remove moisture.

However, do NOT use heat sources such as a hairdryer or oven to dry your hearing aids. This will almost certainly cause some damage and may void your warranty too.

Types of Waterproof Hearing Aids

There are several types of waterproof hearing aids on the market today. The most common include:

  • Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids
  • In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids
  • Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) hearing aids
  • Invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) hearing aids

BTE and ITE hearing aids are the most commonly used waterproof hearing aids. Their water-resistant coating helps protect them from moisture damage.

Meanwhile, CIC and IIC hearing aids are designed to fit deeper inside the ear canal and are therefore less visible. IIC hearing aids are smaller than CIC models and fit even deeper inside the ear.

While invisible waterproof hearing aids may be less visible, they do come with some downsides. For example, they may not be suitable if you have severe or profound hearing loss, and they often require more frequent maintenance due to their small size.

Which Hearing Aids Are Waterproof?​

There are several high-quality waterproof hearing aids available on the market today. You can read my review of the waterproof Phonak Audéo Life here.

When choosing a brand and specific device, consider your level of hearing loss, your lifestyle and activity level, and your budget.

Our audiologists at AVI New England can help you determine which type of waterproof hearing aid is best for your needs.

Can You Get Waterproof Hearing Aids?

Waterproof hearing aids offer a convenient and practical solution for those who want to stay active and engage in water-related activities. With a variety of options available, including invisible and water-specific models, there’s a hearing aid to suit every lifestyle and budget.

The next step is to have a professional hearing evaluation. You can book your hearing test at our Norwalk, Hamden, or Branford locations.

AVI offers a wide range of hearing aid styles and packages, and we will recommend the appropriate technology suited to your individual hearing needs, personal circumstances, lifestyle, and budget.

We have 40 years of experience helping literally tens of thousands of patients just like you. So if you have any questions about any aspect of hearing health, feel free to call us at (475) 227-0842.

We look forward to helping you venture further into the exciting life offered by waterproof hearing aids!

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Dr. Natan Bauman

For more than 40 years, I have had the honor and opportunity of helping thousands of local, national, and international people to achieve a better life through better hearing. As an audiologist and electronic engineer, I have changed the course of the hearing aid industry by inventing the Receiver-In-The-Canal, the most widely used hearing aid in the world. Additionally, I established a tinnitus and sound over-sensitivity clinic and developed a special treatment program which I have been teaching to other practitioners nationally and internationally. Our practice follows the key principles that have defined my career: an adherence to best practices, use of the latest technologies, and personalized care in which the patient is treated as family.

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