Hearing aids, if you take care of them correctly, can last for years. But they quit being useful if they no longer treat your degree of hearing loss. Similar to prescription glasses, your hearing aids are programmed to your specific hearing loss, which should be examined regularly. Here’s how long you can anticipate your hearing aids will last assuming they are fitted and programmed properly.
Do Hearing Aids Expire?
Just about everything you buy has a shelf life. It could take a couple of weeks for the milk in your fridge to expire. A few months to several years is the shelf life of canned products. Within the next few years or so, even your new high-def TV will have to be swapped out. So finding out that your hearing aids have a shelf life is most likely not very shocking.
Generally, a set of hearing aids will last approximately 2-5 years, though with the technology coming out you may want to replace them sooner. There are a number of possible factors that will impact the shelf life of your hearing aids:
- Care: This shouldn’t be surprising, but the better care for hearing aids, the longer they’ll last. This means making certain your hearing aids are cleaned on a regular basis and undergo any necessary regular maintenance. Time put into care will translate almost directly into increased operational time.
- Construction: Nowadays, hearing aids are made from all types of materials, from metal to silicon to nano-coated plastics, and so on. Some wear-and-tear can be anticipated in spite of the fact that hearing aids are manufactured to be durable and ergonomic. If you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be impacted despite quality construction.
- Batteries: The majority of (but not all) hearing aids presently use rechargeable, internal batteries. The shelf life of your hearing aid is significantly influenced by the type of batteries they use.
- Type: There are two primary kinds of hearing aids: inside-the-ear and behind-the-ear. Because they are exposed to the debris, sweat, and dirt from the ear canal, inside-the-ear models normally have a shelf life of about five years. Because they are able to remain cleaner and dryer, behind the ear models commonly last 6-7 years.
Normally, the typical usage of your hearing aid determines the actual shelf life. But the potential longevity of your hearing aids is diminished if they’re not used regularly (putting them unmaintained in a humid drawer, for example, could very well curtail the life expectancy of your hearing devices, especially if you leave the battery in place).
And every now and then, hearing aids should be checked and cleaned professionally. This helps make sure they still fit correctly and don’t have a build-up of wax blocking their ability to work.
Replacing Hearing Aids Before They Wear Out
There could come a time when, years from now, your hearing aid performance begins to decline. And it will be time, therefore, to begin searching for a new pair. But there will be scenarios when it will be practical to buy a more modern hearing aid before your current one shows signs of wear. Here are a few of those situations:
- Changes in lifestyle: You may, in many cases, have a certain lifestyle in mind when you purchase your hearing aids. But maybe now your lifestyle changes require you to get hearing aids that are more durable or waterproof or rechargeable.
- Technology changes: Hearing aids are becoming more useful in novel ways every year. It might be worth investing in a new hearing aid sooner than later if you feel like you would be significantly helped by some of these cutting edge technologies.
- Your hearing changes: You should change your hearing aid scenario if the state of your hearing changes. Your hearing aids may no longer be calibrated to effectively treat your hearing problem. In these cases, a new hearing aid may be imperative for you to hear optimally.
You can understand why the plan for updating your hearing aid is difficult to predict. How many years your hearing aids will last depends on a handful of factors, but you can normally count on that 2-5 year range.