As we move into the summer months, many of us are looking forward to relishing the warmer weather, enjoying a refreshing swim in the ocean or in a pool. It’s also a great time to take part in other outdoor activities where we might even work up a healthy sweat.
Of course, like most electronic devices, moisture is the enemy of hearing aids. Understandably, people worry about damaging their hearing aids. They’re anxious about getting them wet particularly if they weather is humid.
So, a sweatproof, waterproof hearing device is bound to be popular.
And that’s exactly what Swiss-based hearing experts Phonak have developed with their new Audéo Life™ hearing aid.
But first… a little about what ‘water-resistance’ and ‘waterproof’ means when it comes to hearing aids.
How do we measure waterproofing in hearing aids?
All hearing aids are given an IP rating to indicate how well they perform under various conditions. IP ratings are made up of a two-digit number. This is defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
IP stands for Ingress Protection.
Most hearing aids these days are manufactured with an IP68 rating. The first digit indicates protection against dust and other debris. The value of this number can range from 0 (no protection) to 6 (full protection from dust). The second digit indicates protection from water intrusion (including sweat) and can range from 0 (no protection) to 9 (can withstand direct spray of high-pressure, high-temperature industrial water jets from multiple angles).
Moisture intrusion has always been a problem for hearing aids.
Accidentally wearing your hearing aids in the shower or excessively sweating during a brisk walk around the block, may stop your hearing aids from working properly.
Though previous hearing aids have claimed to be water-resistant, the devices were still prone to damage when submerged in water or exposed to moisture for any length of time.
Putting Phonak’s Audéo Life™ hearing aid to the test
Which brings us back to the new hearing aid from Phonak. The company specifically wanted to address the issue of possible moisture damage.
And it looks like, when it comes to water resistance, the Audéo Life really is a big improvement on other hearing aid models.
Phonak conducted depth tests in seawater and pool water to evaluate the waterproof performance of the Audéo Life hearing aids.
- The researchers placed the hearing aids in two climate-controlled chambers. One was filled with seawater to simulate diving into the ocean. Another was filled with chlorinated water to simulate being submerged in a pool.
- The hearing aids remained submerged in the water for five minutes.
- The pressure was then released, and the water drained from the chamber.
- Once the water had cleared the chamber, the chamber was resealed, and the hearing aids remained in the high-humidity environment for an extra ten minutes.
To make sure the test was rigorous, the researchers completed this process 520 times on each hearing aid in both seawater and pool water conditions. In all but a handful of cases, the hearing aids still worked.
Features and benefits of Phonak’s Audéo Life™ hearing aids
Phonak installed several key features in their Audéo Life hearing aid to improve water resistance:
- Extra protection over the rear microphone to protect from direct water pressure.
- The hearing aid uses inductive charging. This eliminates the need for titanium posts in the hearing aid, reducing the number of openings in the housing.
- Coating the internal module and rechargeable battery with a thin layer of parylene. This is a flexible plastic polymer often used to protect sensitive electronic equipment from damage due to moisture and corrosion in inhospitable environments.
- Adding silicone seals behind the receiver port, locking pins and housing seams.
- They feature a pin-less receiver port. Not only does this further reduce the number of open points in the housing, but also no longer requires a tool to change the receiver.
Phonak Audéo Life hearing aids are also conveniently rechargeable
As well as being waterproof, the Audéo Life hearing aids are rechargeable. But what’s different about these devices is that they use inductive charging. This is a more reliable method of recharging your hearing aid’s power.
Other features include:
- Audéo Life™ hearing aids come in a new and improved, easy-to-open charging case. With a self-contained battery, it includes three full charges.
- They also feature a snap fit receiver attachment. This is easier to attach and remove, especially if you have dexterity issues.
- With universal wireless connectivity – meaning you can connect your hearing aids with your mobile phone and other Bluetooth enabled devices (both iPhone and Android). Plus, the inclusion of lots of great features to help you hear better – the Audio Life hearing aid is a real winner for active hearing aid wearers.
- Using the Health Data Tracking app with your Audéo Life you’ll have access to key health performance indicators, such as step count and activity levels. This can help you set health goals and achieve an improved sense of well-being.
To find out more about the new Phonak’s Audéo Life hearing aids, call My Hearing on 1300 970 558. Or book a free 30-day trial.