Cochlear Americas receives FDA approval for waterproof hearing accessory

2 June 2013 (Last Updated June 2nd, 2013 18:30)

Cochlear Americas, a provider of implantable hearing solutions, has received approval from the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for its waterproof hearing aid cover, which is compatible with the Cochlear Nucleus 5 sound processor.

Cochlear Americas, a provider of implantable hearing solutions, has received approval from the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for its waterproof hearing aid cover, which is compatible with the Cochlear Nucleus 5 sound processor.

The custom cover, Aqua Accessory, has a double zip lock seal that is designed to hold both the processor and coil inside.

The device, which is worn behind the ear in the normal position, can be used in any water-based activities to a depth of four metres for up to one hour, according to the company.

Cochlear Americas president Chris Smith said that the Aqua Accessory, combined with the Nucleus 5 Sound Processor, allows recipients to hear in every environment, including swimming in the pool, which is a high priority for many.

"We are pleased to be the first to introduce a behind-the-ear swimming option for cochlear implant users and look forward to seeing them relax and have fun in and out of the water," Smith said.

"The device, which is worn behind the ear in the normal position, can be used in any water-based activities to a depth of four metres for up to one hour."

The Aqua Accessory is designed to protect cochlear implant technology from water damage, and provides more underwater options for people that currently use a Nucleus 5 sound processor.

The company noted that prior to the launch of the Aqua Accessory, people using the Nucleus 5 sound processor could be in and around water, but could not swim underwater.

However, the new device allows people to swim in chlorinated pools, partial salt water / chlorinated pools, saltwater, soapy and fresh water.

The Aqua Accessory has an IP68 waterproof rating, and can be used without the need to purchase an additional sound processor for swimming.

Cochlear implants are electronic devices that bypass damaged hair cells in the inner ear, or cochlea, and stimulate the hearing nerve directly.