While many people use these interchangeably, the reality is they mean very different things. Mistaking –resistant for –proof could cost you a very pricey pair of hearing aids.
Water-resistant hearing aids
Water-resistant or water-repellant refers to an item made to create a hindrance against penetration by water, not a guarantee that water will not eventually seep in. Concerning hearing aids, this means that they have some sort of protective coating or sealant that protects them against casual contact with moisture, at least for short amounts of time. However, it does not mean that their delicate inner workings won’t eventually be damaged by moisture due to long-term exposure to humidity or dampness without being dried out regularly with a dehumidifier.
Water-resistant hearing aids are a good idea if you live in a humid region, such as Florida or another southern state in the US. You should also seek this protection if you have very oily skin or produce excess earwax. Water-resistant hearing aids will also survive if you are caught out in the rain, so long as you don’t stay in a downpour long enough for them to get soaked. However, they are not safe to take swimming, into the shower, or otherwise submerge.
Just one waterproof hearing aid available
As of this writing, only one hearing aid on the market is truly waterproof — the Aquaris™ by Siemens Hearing Instruments, Inc. This highly advanced hearing instrument is certified for submerging one meter in depth for 30 minutes without water penetrating the housing, and against experiencing seepage or damage due to continuous immersion. It’s so unique that Aquaris was recognized for its innovative design and engineering at the 2013 International CES—the world’s largest consumer electronics trade show. Not only is it waterproof and sweatproof, but it is dust- and dirt-proof and shock-resistant.
How it works
The housing shell and battery door are completely sealed against water, dust, or other fine particles, while a special acoustic membrane from GORE provides ultimate microphone protection. The unique GORE™ Acoustic Vent, a high-performance membrane engineered into the microphone, protects the microphone against water or particle intrusion — and preserves overall sound quality.
What this means to you is that you can swim while wearing your hearing aids or otherwise get them wet without panicking that you have just ruined your devices. It is also a good choice if you are very active and excessive perspiration is a regular concern, or if you like to go skiing or to the beach.
Get advice from a hearing care professional now
If you are not sure whether water-resistant or waterproof hearing aids are right for you, a hearing care professional can help. Call 855-355-9064 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. He or she will ask you about your lifestyle — how active you are, what kinds of sports or recreational activities you enjoy — and then offer guidance based on your stated preferences.
 Siemens Hearing Instruments. http://hearing.siemens.com/us/en/products/bte/aquaris/aquaris.html.
|GORE™ Acoustic Vents for Microphone Protection
The high-performance acoustic membrane preserves the microphone’s sound quality while protecting it from water and dust particles.