For some patients, the ability to use their cochlear implants while being exposed to water is extremely important. There are several waterproof options for cochlear implants, but it’s necessary to understand exactly what “waterproof” means.
There are three levels of water resistance when it comes to hearing aids and cochlear implants:
Water–resistant: able to resist the penetration of water to some degree, but not entirely.
Water-repellent: not easily penetrated by water, especially as a result of being treated with a surface coating to repel water.
Waterproof: will not be damaged by water (IP68).
Here is a chart explaining how IP classifications work. An IP Rating Chart can be very useful for understanding how waterproof a device is.
This can be a kit option for new implants, or it can be purchased for $1,050.
Naida has an IP57 without aqua case should not be submerged in water but if it gets splashed, the patient should utilize the dryer that comes with the processor to remove any water.
Advanced Bionics’ AquaCase is a convenient solution for cochlear implant wearers who enjoy the water. Patients slip the cochlear implant into the secure case that can be worn on a lanyard, with a clip or in an armband. AquaCase works with AquaMic, the world’s only waterproof cochlear implant microphone. Together these products provide the patient with a worry and hassle-free water experience. AquaCase can be used an unlimited number of times. Watch this video on how to use the AquaCase.
Neptune Sound Processor (waterproof off-ear processor)
This processor is the only waterproof sound processor in the world. When used with the Aqua Mic, you can splash around with no worries of damaging the device. It has an IP68 rating so it is protected against water, dirt, mud, sand, snow, rain and other grime. There is no expiration date or limits on the number of uses.
The Nucleus 7 is rated as IP57, making it splash-proof and sweat-proof. You can walk in the rain, take a shower and endure humidity and your Nucleus will be fine. If you are looking for even more water resistance, you can purchase the Aqua + for Nucleus 7. This takes the Nucleus 7 to IP68. You can feel free to swim, snorkel or surf without having to worry about your cochlear implant being damaged. This is great for people who live a more active lifestyle.
Aqua+ with Aqua+ headpiece
Aqua+ for Cochlear Americas is a protective sleeve for your cochlear implant. Simply remove the ear hook, slip the cochlear implant into Aqua+ and secure the bottom of the casing. Attach your Aqua+ coil to the cochlear implant and you’re ready to go! It is FDA approved for 50 uses. Watch this video on how to use Aqua+ for N7.
Kanso Aqua Sleeve
The Aqua Sleeve has an IP68 protection rating in 3 meters of still water for 2 hours. It can also be used in soapy, salt or chlorinated water. Testing shows that the Aqua Sleeve can be used around 50 times. Watch this video on how to use Aqua+ for Kanso.
Sonnet or Opus 2 WaterWear Included in the initial kit 1pk comes with three covers and seals (9 uses) Behind the ear (BTE) is $50.00 per pack and you need to use a rechargeable battery or Alkaline LR44 or silver oxide SR44 as the WaterWear is airtight and the zinc-air batteries will not last. The battery life is 8-10 hours.
Sonnet has an IP54 rating, so it can be splashed with water but cannot be submerged. The other processors do not have an IP rating, therefore, they are not water resistant.
This simple casing provides an effective and inexpensive solution to protect your cochlear implants. The processor and the microphone are both inserted into the case and it is ready for use. Watch this video on how to use WaterWear with Sonnet.
Rondo alone is not water resistant. WaterWear is a water resisting, reusable covering for your Rondo. It can be used in fresh, salt, and chlorinated water. WaterWear can be used 3 times. The adhesive strip that seals the WaterWear can only be used once, so it comes with multiple strips. This is an inexpensive way to protect your Rondo.
WaterWear included in the initial kit 1pk comes with three covers and seals (9 uses). Packs are $30.00 thereafter. Patients need to use Alkaline LR44 or silver oxide SR44 batteries, as the seal is airtight and the zinc-air batteries will not work. This battery life is 8-10 hours. Watch this video on how to use WaterWear with Rondo.
Here is an overview of the products reviewed above:
|Product||Price||Waterproof?||# of Uses|
|Naida Full Water Kit||$1,050||Yes||Unlimited|
|Aqua+||Call for pricing||Yes||50 Uses|
|Kanso Aqua+||Call for pricing||Yes||50 Uses|
|Sonnet WaterWear||$50||Yes||9 Uses|
|Rondo WaterWear||$30/ pack of 3||Yes||9 Uses|
Getting your cochlear implant some form of water resisting device is the best way to protect your cochlear implant so you can enjoy the water without the worry. Not sure which device is right for you? Give Arizona Hearing Center a call at 602-277-4327 to schedule an appointment.