Many hearing aid wearers are eager to continue a normal lifestyle including swimming and playing in the pool. However, given the sensitive calibration of hearing aids, and the high expense of replacing waterlogged devices, it's a good idea to take some precautions before you jump in the pool.
Check the waterproof rating of your hearing aid
Many hearing aids are rated as water resistant rather than waterproof. This means that they can operate with a small exposure to water, such as incidental water exposure being caught in a rain shower, but they are not resistant to the full immersion of swimming laps or diving under waves. Many batteries even require air exposure to operate. Understanding the designed level of waterproofing of your hearing aid can help you to make smart decisions about how you play around water.
Wear a water resistant head band
There are a range of water resistant head bands on the market that can limit the amount of water that gets into the ear, as well as helping to keep the hearing aid firmly lodged in the ear. Unfortunately, even a full waterproofed hearing aid can come dislodged in vigorous water play! It's a good idea to ask your hearing aid technician for some advice about which headbands might be most suitable to use with your model of hearing aid. Whilst these cannot make a non-water resistant hearing aid waterproof, they can often improve comfort when wearing a hearing aid in the water.
Get your hearing aid regularly checked
Any hearing aid should be regularly checked, but if you are using your hearing aid in active water play, it's especially important to make sure that it is calibrated correctly. If any water does penetrate the waterproof membrane it can be relatively easy to fix the issue if it's caught quickly, but if the water is allowed to stay in the hearing aid, it can corrode the delicate internal electronics and battery. Having a correctly fitting aid is important as well to stop water moving around the aid and lodging in the ear canal which can lead to pain and discomfort.
If you love swimming but need to wear a hearing aid, you should speak to your hearing aid clinic about the best waterproof hearing aids. They can help you to choose a model that suits both your hearing impairment and your lifestyle so you can have enjoy a range of activities.