Are there any hearing aids that are safe to use while surfing?

Melissa Wikoff, AuD

Doctor of Audiology

06 December 2017 - 1.03K Views

This is a great question! I used to practice in Southern California and work with a lot of surfers. I am an amateur surfer myself! There is no hearing aid currently available that's marketed as completely waterproof, so it's best to leave your hearing aids on the beach. Some of the rechargeable hearing aids, like the Signia Cellion, come with an IP-68 rating. IP stands for the International Protection marking, a standard of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The first digit (6) stands for its resistance to dust, dirt, and sand. The second digit (8) stands for its resistance to water. Depending on the length of your ear canal, you can try a Lyric or a custom IIC device like a Starkey Soundlens with a professionally fit Doc's Proplug.  I always recommend that my patients concerned with excess moisture and sweat try using Ear Gear with their hearing aids. I honestly wouldn't recommend wearing your hearing aid if you're going to submerge your head in the ocean, but those are some out-of-the-box ideas for help if you're active in the water.

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Sheri Gostomelsky, AuD

Doctor of Audiology

06 December 2017 - 1.02K Views

The Esteem Hearing Implant is a hearing aid specifically made with water sports in mind.  There is a long list of indications and contraindications.  Esteem requires the skill of a surgeon and is programmed by an Audiologist. 

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Todd Gibson, AuD

Audiologist

06 December 2017 - 1.03K Views

The problem, of course, is whether the device, can survive the exposure to the water.  The Lyric Extended Wear device is one possibility.   It is a device that is placed deep into your ear canal after your ear has been measured by your audiologist for depth and size.  If you are a candidate and it is fitted properly, you can expose it to water.  I have fitted a few surfers and and kite surfers and have still resorted to using a neoprene headband that further reassures that water does not reach by the seal of the Lyric device as an added measure.  Many other devices are hydrophobic designed and are water resistant, but may not be as easy to retain with an activity level such as surfing. 

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