Hearing aids are water-resistant, not water-proof…
While you shouldn’t plan to dunk your hearing aids in water any time soon, most models today are water-resistant, which means that they can handle some degree of moisture. Sometimes life gets in the way and you might get caught in the middle of rain, or leave your hearing aids someplace damp without intending to. How resistant a hearing aid is to weather conditions like dust and water is indicated by the IP rating.
Look out for a hearing aid’s IP rating to gauge how well it can withstand water and dust
The International Electrotechnical Commission outlines an IP rating for every hearing aid i.e. two digits that tell you about how well a hearing aid can deal with water and dust. The IP rating is a two digit number, the first one which scores on a scale of 1 to 7, indicating how well the device handles dirt and dust. The second digit scores on a scale of 1 to 9 and indicates how water-resistant the device is.
Understanding the IP rating through an example
A hearing aid with an IP67 rating for instance is well-protected against solid particles like dust and sand, and fares well when it contact with water as well. It works for at least half an hour in water that’s less than 3 ft. deep. A number lower than 7 cannot deal with immersion.
Should I consider a water-resistant hearing aid?
After your free hearing test, when the audiologist recommends hearing aids that you can try for a certain period at no cost based on your hearing needs, you can let them know that you’d prefer a hearing aid with a higher IP rating, especially if any of the following circumstances apply to you:
After your free hearing test, you’ll have the opportunity to try devices at no cost for some time. There’s plenty of water-resistant models that you’ll be able to choose from.