Australia-based Cochlear has obtained approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Aqua+ accessory, a waterproof behind-the-ear solution for cochlear implant recipients.


According to Cochlear, the Cochlear Nucleus Aqua accessory has IP68 water resistance rating and allows the Cochlear Nucleus 5 and Nucleus 6 Implant recipients to swim underwater for up to two hours while wearing the sound processor behind their ear.

The flexible, watertight Aqua+ sleeve simply fits over the sound processor behind the ear and so the users are free from finding other places to secure the sound processor. A waterproof coil then connects to the sound processor within the sleeve.

Cochlear Americas president Chris Smith noted that with the approval of the Aqua+ accessory, recipients can have the confidence that they have the world’s most waterproof cochlear implant system on the market, while benefitting from the sleek, form-fitting, behind-the-ear design that truly makes it one-of-a-kind.

"The Aqua+ will undeniably change the way our cochlear implant recipients interact with water going forward by allowing them to swim in and under water while wearing their sound processor," Smith added.

While the Nucleus 5 and Nucleus 6 Sound Processors already have a high water resistance rating, the Aqua+ provides added confidence.

The Aqua+ can be used in chlorinated pools, fresh water lakes and rivers, saltwater oceans and pools, and soapy water. The Aqua+ is a reusable solution where recipients can use the form-fitting sleeve numerous times without having to replace it.

The Aqua+ Kit has all the necessary parts that recipients will need. The kit will be available from 2 May 2014. All Nucleus 5 and Nucleus 6 Cochlear implant recipients in the US and Canada are eligible to order the Aqua+.

Image: Cochlear receives FDA approval of the Aqua+ accessory – the Cochlear Nucleus system. Photo: Courtesy of PR Newswire/Cochlear Limited