We frequently get asked about waterproof hearing aids, especially for children and for those who enjoy watersports. There are a lot of misconceptions out there that cause people problems when they try to swim wearing a hearing aid they think is waterproof but isn't.
IP or "Ingress Protection" rating
Most hearing aids are IP 67 or IP 68 rated. This means that no dust will get in them and that you can submerge them in clean water at a depth of one meter for up to 30 minutes (IP67) or 60 minutes (IP68)
Great, so they are waterproof then? No.
No water will get into the mechanics of the hearing aid, but after a minute or two the water will smother the zinc-air battery and stop it from working. No damage to the hearing aid, but no hearing either.
The fine print
Look back and note "clean water". Clean water won't cause damage, but who swims in clean water? It will either be salty or chlorinated, neither of which are great for hearing aids. Not all IP68 hearing aids are created equally, regular victims are the NHS Phonak Sky hearing aids which are worn by children. These are IP68 rated and are quite robust, but absulutely shouldn't be worn for swimming
Siemens Aquaris. It's the only option at time of writing. It too is IP68 rated but is also watertight so your batteries don't get wet. With a specially designed swim mould to go with it you get the waterproof hearing aid you need. We really would prefer customers to have more of a choice, no we're not being paid by Siemens, there really is just the one option. Well three versions of; the Micon Aquaris 7, Micon Aquaris 5 and the Micon Aquaris 3
Author: David Roberts
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