Hearing aids, if you take care of them correctly, can keep working for years. But they quit being practical if they no longer address your degree of hearing loss. As with prescription glasses, your hearing aids are programmed to your particular hearing loss, which should be examined regularly. Here’s how long you can expect your hearing aids to last assuming they are fitted and programmed properly.
Do Hearing Aids Expire?
There’s a shelf life for pretty much any product. With the milk in your fridge, that shelf life may be several weeks. Canned products can last anywhere from several months to a number of years. Even electronic devices have a shelf life, your brand new high-def TV will probably have to be upgraded some time in the next five years or so. It’s certainly not surprising, then, that your hearing aids also have a shelf life.
Normally, a pair of hearing aids will last approximately 2-5 years, though with the technology emerging you may want to upgrade sooner. But the shelf life of your hearing aids will be based upon a number of possible factors:
- Care: This shouldn’t be surprising, but the better care for hearing aids, the longer they’ll last. Doing regular required maintenance and cleaning is essential. Time put into care will translate almost directly into increased operational time.
- 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 of the ear canal, inside-the-ear models tend to have a shelf life of about five years. Behind-the-ear models commonly last about 6-7 years (mainly because they’re able to stay drier and cleaner).
- Batteries: The majority of (but not all) hearing aids currently use internal, rechargeable batteries. The shelf life of your hearing aid is significantly impacted by the type of batteries they use.
- Construction: These days, hearing aids are made out of many 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 designed to be ergonomic and durable. If you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be impacted despite quality construction.
In most situations, the shelf life of your hearing aid is an estimate based on typical usage. But the potential life expectancy of your hearing aids is lessened if they’re not used regularly (putting them unmaintained on a dusty shelf, as an example, could very well reduce the lifespan of your hearing devices, especially if you leave the battery in place).
Hearing aids should also be inspected and professionally cleaned every now and then. This helps make certain they still fit correctly and don’t have a build-up of wax blocking their ability to function.
It’s a Good Idea to Replace Your Hearing Aids Before They Wear Out
There might come a time when, years from now, your hearing aid functionality begins to decline. And it will be time, therefore, to begin looking around for a new pair. But in a few situations, you might find a new pair advantageous long before your hearing aids begin to show their age. Some of those situations might include:
- Changes in your hearing: You need to change your hearing aid situation if the state of your hearing changes. Your hearing aids might no longer be adjusted to successfully manage your hearing problem. If you want an optimal degree of hearing, new hearing aids could be required.
- Your lifestyle changes: In many circumstances, your first pair of hearing aids may be obtained with a certain lifestyle in mind. But perhaps your circumstances change, maybe you’ve become more active and need a pair that are waterproof, more durable, or rechargeable.
- Changes in technology: 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.
You can see why the timetable for updating your hearing devices 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.