Why Aren’t All Hearing Aids Waterproof?

Why Aren’t All Hearing Aids Waterproof?

Hearing aids of today are pretty impressive. They amplify the sounds you want to hear while suppressing background noise – and are smart enough to intuitively know the difference. Today’s hearing aids can stream music and podcasts directly from most smart devices. Some of today’s hearing aids are even equipped with tinnitus masking technology and GPS. While these advances are certainly impressive, one advancement simply has not yet happened in the hearing aid industry: fully and 100% waterproof hearing aids.

 

Waterproof versus Water-resistant

A few years back, Siemens was marketing the Aquaris, the only fully waterproof hearing aid the industry had ever seen. After a while, the company stopped manufacturing this device, and a fully waterproof hearing aid has not been marketed ever since. 

Even though there are not fully waterproof hearing aids available, there are many water-resistant devices. These devices are still very effective at repelling water and resisting water damage, however, they cannot claim the label of fully waterproof. Instead, hearing aids, like all other electronic devices, receive an IP label from the International Electrotechnical Commission. An IP level describes both the device’s ability to resist dust and debris and its level of water-resistance. 

IP scores come with two numbers after them. You may see a pair of hearing aids with a score of IP67 or a smart watch with a score of IP68. The first number (the 6 in both of these examples) runs from 1-6 and measures how resistant to dust and debris a device is. Most of the newer devices of today are able to achieve dust resistance scores of 5 or the highest possible score of 6 – meaning that no dust can enter the device.

Then we get to the second number on the IP scale which represents the devices’ level of water resistance. This number runs from 1-9. A device with a water resistance rating of 7 means that the device can be submerged up to one meter underwater and up to 30 minutes at a time. A device with a rating of 8 is suitable for continuous submersion as outlined by the manufacturer. 

This can be confusing, as the 7 and 8 ratings may make the device appear to be waterproof. Wearers who own hearing aids with an IP rating of 8 will probably be ok if they forget to remove their hearing aids before showering a time or two, however, it is still not recommended that these wearers swim or engage in water sports while wearing their hearing aids.

While the IP rating and water resistance of modern hearing aids are impressive, they still cannot be considered waterproof. While we wait for fully waterproof hearing technology, it is still important to care for our hearing aids and keep them free from excess moisture.

 

How to help clients keep their hearing aids dry

There are many steps that your clients can take on their own to keep their hearing aids dry at home. Here are some of the easiest ways to free hearing aids from excess moisture: 

Wipe hearing aids each evening. Wiping down hearing aids with a clean, dry cloth kept specifically for use on the hearing aids can help wipe off moisture on the outside of the hearing aid to keep it from ever getting inside the device. 

Keep the battery door open. For those who use hearing aids with disposable batteries, leaving the door to the battery compartment open overnight while one sleeps can help promote evaporation of any water that may have leaked in throughout the day.

Use a dehumidifier. For those who live in more humid environments, it may be worth it to invest in an at-home hearing aid dehumidifier. These devices can help to strip hearing aids of excess moisture from the comfort of their own home.

Let them use your Redux dryer at their appointment. If you have a Redux hearing aid dryer in your office, you can fully, effectively, and safely dry your clients’ hearing aids during your regularly scheduled follow up and maintenance appointments. 

Our hearing aid dryers use patented technology that allows our devices to completely remove all moisture while still maintaining a temperature that is safe for your clients’ hearing aids.

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