If you take good care of them, hearing aids can last for years. But they stop being practical if they no longer treat your degree of hearing loss. Your hearing aids are calibrated to your specific level of hearing loss and much like prescription glasses, need to be updated if your situation gets worse. Here’s how long you can anticipate your hearing aids will last assuming they are programed and fitted properly.
Do Hearing Aids Expire?
There’s a shelf life for pretty any product. It could take a couple of weeks for the milk inside your fridge to expire. Several months to several years is the shelf life of canned goods. Even electronic devices have a shelf life, your brand new high-def TV will likely need to be upgraded some time within the next few years. So finding out that your hearing aids have a shelf life is most likely not very shocking.
2 to 5 years is normally the shelf life for a pair of hearing aids, however you might want to replace them sooner with the new technology coming out. But the shelf life of your hearing aids will be determined by several possible factors:
- Type: There are two basic kinds of hearing aids: inside-the-ear and behind-the-ear. Because they are subjected to the debris, sweat, and dirt of the ear canal, inside-the-ear models tend to have a shelf life of around five years. Because they are able to stay dryer and cleaner, behind the ear models usually last 6-7 years.
- Care: This should come as no surprise, but the better care for hearing aids, the longer they will last. Performing regular required maintenance and cleaning is vital. You will get added operational time from your hearing aid in almost direct proportion to time put into care.
- Construction: Materials such as nano-coated plastics, silicon, and metal are used to build modern hearing aids. Some wear-and-tear can be expected despite the fact that hearing aids are manufactured to be durable and ergonomic. In spite of quality construction, if you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be impacted.
- Batteries: The majority of (but not all) hearing aids presently use internal, rechargeable batteries. The type of battery or power supply your hearing aids use can significantly impact the overall shelf life of various models.
Usually, the standard 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 on a regular basis (leaving your hearing aids neglected on a shelf and unmaintained can also diminish the lifespan of your hearing aids).
And every so often, hearing aids should be checked and cleaned professionally. This helps make certain that there is no wax buildup and that they still fit properly.
Replacing Hearing Aids Before They Wear Out
Years from now there may come a time when the efficiency of your hearing aids starts to decline. Then you will need to shop for a new set. But there will be scenarios when it will be beneficial to purchase a more modern hearing aid before your current one shows signs of wear. Here are a few of those scenarios:
- Your hearing changes: You should change your hearing aid situation if the condition of your hearing changes. Your hearing aids could no longer be adjusted to effectively treat your hearing issue. In these situations, a new hearing aid could be imperative for you to hear optimally.
- Technology changes: Hearing aids are becoming more useful in novel ways every year. If one of these cutting edge technologies looks like it’s going to help you significantly, it could be worth investing in a new pair of devices sooner rather than later.
- Changes in lifestyle: In some instances, your first set of hearing aids might be purchased with a particular lifestyle in mind. But perhaps your circumstances change, maybe you’ve become more active and need a pair that are waterproof, more rugged, or rechargeable.
You can see why it’s difficult to estimate a timetable for replacing your hearing aids. How many years your hearing aids will last depends on a handful of variables, but you can usually count on that 2-5 year range.