Summer is a time to take part in your favorite outdoor activities, but you might be worried if your hearing aids can withstand the elements. If you like to go camping, you know that everything is at risk of getting dirty or damp from time to time. Water recreation is a summer favorite, and getting splashed on a boat is a welcome relief from the heat. However, you might be worried about those splashes doing damage to your hearing aids. If you like to go to the beach, you know that sand seems to get everywhere between the beach and your home, and your hearing aids might seem like they are at risk of getting sand inside the components, as well. Even if you simply like to have a barbecue in the park with your friends or family, you might be concerned about getting caught in a sudden thunderstorm. The good news is that most of the latest hearing aids are more resistant to damage than you might think. They are rated in a way that lets you know just how much exposure to the elements they can handle. Let’s take a look at how much exposure to the outdoors your hearing aids can withstand. With that rating in mind, you can rest assured that they will serve your hearing and communication needs in a variety of summer activities.
Hearing Aid IP Ratings
Your hearing aids are rated for their resistance to two types of potentially damaging elements: debris and liquid. The IP (Ingress Protection) rating is a two-digit number that lets you know precisely how much they can handle. The first number is on a scale of 1-6 and denotes resistance to debris, dirt, and dust. The second number is on a scale of 1-8 and denotes resistance to liquid. For instance, if you have hearing aids with a rating of IP68, they have the maximum possible resistance. Many of the latest hearing aids have a rating of IP67. This denotes the maximum resistance to debris, dust, and dirt. It also means that your hearing aids can survive submersion in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. Although you don’t want to go testing this resistance, that should suffice to resist liquid from a rainstorm, splashes on a boat, sweat while jogging, or humid weather. Even an accidental drop into a sink of water shouldn’t be able to damage your aids if you properly dry them off immediately after the incident. Simply wipe down the surface of your hearing aids with a clean, dry, soft cloth as quickly as possible. Your favorite summer activities will not be sufficient to cause permanent damage when you keep these considerations in mind.
Outdoor Activities and Your Aids
With the IP rating in mind, you can determine just how much your aids can handle. If you want to wear them while swimming, for instance, you will need to purchase specialized hearing aids that are not only water resistant but are fully waterproof for that purpose. A splash of water, however, should not harm your aids if you properly dry them afterward. Even sand from the beach or dirt from a camping trip should not be able to harm your aids. However, you need to remain aware of exposure to heat and direct sunlight. Even the interior of your car on a sunny day can be enough to do damage to your hearing aids when the temperatures climb. Though your aids might be resistant to substances such as dirt and water, they are not as resilient to heat exposure. If you are going into a store, you would be wise to bring your hearing aids with you rather than leaving them in a hot car. With these considerations in mind, you should be able to take part in all your favorite summer activities and to be able to hear and communicate with hearing aids in place. If, however, you have yet to receive treatment for your hearing loss, the time is now to get the assistance you need. A hearing test is the first step toward treatment, so don’t delay making your appointment for an exam.