You have just had your annual hearing test and learned that you have lost a considerable amount of your hearing; no wonder why you’ve been having a hard time trying to understand what people are saying and keep having to turn up the volume on the TV!
While no one likes to admit that they’re suffering from hearing loss, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. People of all ages lose their hearing. Some are born with the problem, others suffer from familial hearing loss (it’s hereditary), and still others lose some degree of their hearing as a result of an illness or exposure to loud noises. Fortunately, there’s a way that you can correct the dilemma that you are facing, and it’s a pretty simple solution: invest in a pair of hearing aids!
The first rudimentary hearing aids were created in the 17th century, electric hearing aids were created in 1898 and by the latter part of the 20th century, and digital hearing aids were developed and were widely available. Though they aren’t a new invention, hearing aids remain one of the greatest inventions, as they have helped to improve the lives of millions – and now that you’re suffering from hearing loss, they can do the same for you.
Advancements in hearing aid technology are constantly being made. Ingenious scientists, doctors, and technological wizards are always looking for ways to improve hearing aids, thus improving the benefits that they provide to those who need them.
There are so many different types and styles of hearing aids on the market. When you’re shopping for a pair of hearing aids, there are several factors that you’re going to want to consider to ensure that you select the right option to meet your needs. Like so many, waterproofing is one of the key features that you’re going to want to look for in your hearing aids.
That’s definitely a wise choice, as you don’t want to worry about damaging them if they’re exposed to water, and you don’t want to worry about taking them out while you’re showering, swimming, or doing anything where they could be exposed to moisture (yes, that includes sweating) and not being able to hear in order to avoid damaging your hearing aids.
In short, with waterproof hearing aids, you’ll have confidence knowing that you will be able to hear better, no matter the weather – or the activity you’re partaking in. If you’re looking for a pair that can withstand a dunk in the pool or that you can continue wearing while you’re biking in a marathon on a hot, humid day without getting damaged, then there’s no doubt that you have some questions. To learn some valuable information that can help you make the right hearing aid selection, keep on reading.
Are Hearing Aids Waterproof?
Over the years, hearing aids that claim to be waterproof have come onto the market. Unfortunately, many would rush to get these hearing aids (for obvious reasons), only to find that they didn’t live up to the hype. The truth is that despite the efforts that have been made and all of the marketing, waterproof hearing aids don’t actually exist. Why? Well, because while there have certainly been some incredible advances in hearing aid technology, no one has ever been able to figure out a way to completely waterproof these devices.
Now, that’s not to say that hearing aid manufacturers that advertised their products as waterproof were lying or trying to deceive consumers. What we are saying is some context needs to be added to the advertisements, as well as some explanations. While there have been some tremendous advances in water-resistance in recent years – the plastic housing that protects the hearing aids were enhanced, external components that leaked were replaced with sealed elements, and protective sealants were applied to both the internal and external parts of the devices.
While all of these advancements did result in hearing aids that successfully passed lab tests, as they were able to withstand being submerged in water without being damaged, the real world is a lot different than a laboratory. During lab testing, for example, the hearing aids may have been dunked in fresh, clean water, while in the real word, when those same hearing aids are submerged in chlorinated pool water, salty ocean water, or even worn in the shower every day for a period of a year or two, they aren’t going to fare so well.
Considering the types of real-world scenarios described above, it would be better for consumers if manufacturers shared this information in their advertisements.
As you can imagine, makers of so-called “waterproof” hearing aids received a lot of complaints from consumers who did experience the types of real-world situations we described, and their hearing aids ended up being damaged. For that reason, makers of hearing aids have pulled back on the “waterproof” claims, and instead, they are now selecting the terms they use to describe their products more carefully; for example, instead of saying they’re “waterproof”, many now say “water-resistant”.
Water-Resistance and IP Ratings: An Overview
Based on what you just learned from the information presented above, it’s best to avoid labeling any hearing aid “waterproof”; but rather, they should be marketed as “water-resistant”. But what makes hearing aids resist water?
Fortunately, there’s an IP rating, which is an international standard that measures a hearing aid’s ability to withstand moisture damage. An IP rating is a two digit code, wherein the first digit indicates how well the device can block out moisture, and the second digit indicates the degree of protection the hearing aid will have against the effects of moisture. The higher the IP rating, the more protection the hearing aids will have, and the better they will be able to withstand damage, both from solids, and from moisture. By understanding these IP ratings, you can select the most water-resistant hearing aids for your needs.
Summing It Up
While there aren’t any hearing aids that are truly waterproof, there are several options that are water-resistant. To determine which options offer the highest degree of moisture protection, speak to your doctor, and be sure to discuss the IP ratings of different models. They should be able to provide you with detailed information that you can use to make the right decision.