Q. My daughter and granddaughter took me sup boarding on Lady Bird Lake. It took about half a minute before I fell into the water – while still wearing my hearing aids! What steps should I take when they get wet like this?
A. Water was once a major nuisance for hearing aids. When exposed to a small amount of moisture, hearing aids would stop working. Today’s hearing aids are much different.
If your hearing aids are from a major manufacturer and are 3 years old or newer, they should be rated at a level of IP57 or better. This rating means the hearing aid is highly resistant to dust intrusion and resistant to moisture intrusion when placed in 3 feet of water for 30 minutes.
When your hearing aid is immersed or drenched in water, remove it and dry it off. Pay particular attention to dry the microphone ports and the speaker where the sound comes from. Open the battery compartment and shake out any water. Remove the battery and dry it off as well. Re-install the battery. If the hearing aid does not re-start, follow the next steps.
Place the hearing aid with the empty battery door open for 24-hours in a small, sealed ziplock bag or small, sealed Tupperware-type container with 1 cup of dry, uncooked rice. The rice will help dry out any additional moisture from the hearing aid. After 24-hours, re-install the battery. If the hearing aid does not re-start contact your hearing center.