It’s a common scenario: you get caught in a downpour; someone jumps into the pool nearby and causes a big splash; you forget you’re wearing your hearing aids and take a dive in the ocean.
If your hearing aids get wet and face a quick soaking, don’t panic. Hearing aids are measured against a classification system called the International Protection (IP). This demonstrates the degree to which they are protected from liquids and other fine matter.
“Most modern hearing aid models have an IP68 rating, meaning they can withstand dirt, dust, sand and being submerged in water. In fact, many hearing aids can get to a maximum depth of 1.5 metres under water for 30 minutes – although we don’t recommend it!” said Hear and Say Audiology Manager, Julie Decker.
“Lots of people lead very active lifestyles with their hearing aids, including cycling, hiking, and playing sports.
“While an IP68 rating doesn’t mean you can wear your hearing aid while swimming or in the shower, it does suggest they should be fine if you get caught in the rain or get sweaty with activity.”
If you do accidentally get your hearing aids wet, take them out of your ears as soon as you realise, remove the battery and thoroughly dry them off with a towel. You can also give them a quick blast of heat with a hairdryer, although don’t be tempted to dry them off in the microwave or oven.
Depending on your level of activity and location, use of a hearing aid dehumidifier may also be recommended by your audiologist to use on a nightly or weekly basis to minimise moisture build-up in your hearing aids.
“Above all, if something happens and you’re unsure what to do if your hearing aids get wet – contact your audiologist,” said Julie.