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You’ll never believe what happened when this man lost his hearing aids in the ocean

water resistant hearing aids

Ken Ashton lost his Audéo V hearing aids in the water while kayaking. He thought that was the end of it, but they were found washed up on the shore… and they still worked!

Living in Florida, Ashton wears his hearing aids near water all the time. He would also wear them when doing water activities such as kayaking. He enjoys wearing his hearing aids because of how much they help his hearing. At one point his kayak took a bad turn and he lost his hearing aids in the water.

His hearing aids had washed up to shore 13 miles from his house. They were tangled in seaweed but were still in good condition. “My audiologist put in a new battery and was shocked to find that they still worked.”

Ashton received his hearing aids about ten years ago. His family and friends discovered his hearing loss as they noticed he would often ask them to repeat what they said to him.

“They got tired of me always saying ‘what?’” He went to the audiologist and found out that he has about 90 percent loss in his left ear and 50 percent in his right ear. “Too many rock concerts as a kid!” Ashton explained.

Ashton has decided not to wear his hearing aids out on the water anymore. He knows that he won’t be that lucky if he loses his hearing aids again!

How waterproof are Phonak hearing aids?

Phonak hearing aids are not waterproof but are water resistant. They are splash and dust resistant. It is important that if your hearing aids do get wet, you follow certain care procedures to keep them in good condition.

Phonak Tip: Phonak hearing aids have an IP67 rating. (IP is the Ingress Protection or International Protection rating system, which is a classification system showing the degrees of protection from solid objects and liquids.)  The first number 6 is the level of dust protection which is dust proof. The second number, 7 is the level of water or moisture protection. This means it is water resistant to a level that it could withstand up to 30 min in 3 feet of water before it must go into the company for repair due to water damage.

Read more: Ask Anna: How do I dry my hearing aids?

So maybe don’t wear your hearing aids kayaking, but wearing them on land near the water is safe! 

Author Details
Kirsten is the managing editor of Hearing Like Me. She has a moderate hearing loss and currently wears Phonak Audéo B-R rechargeable hearing aids. Outside of working for Hearing Like Me, she can be found exploring new cities, trying out new recipes in her kitchen, or hiking. She loves learning about different cultures and languages.