Hearing aids, if you take care of them correctly, can last for years. But they stop being practical if they no longer address your level of hearing loss. Your hearing aids are calibrated to your specific level of hearing loss and comparable to prescription glasses, should be upgraded if your situation gets worse. Assuming they are programmed and fitted correctly, here’s how long you can anticipate they will last.
Do Hearing Aids Expire?
Nearly everything you buy has a shelf life. With the milk in your fridge, that shelf life might be several weeks. Several months to several years is the shelf life of canned products. Even electronic devices have a shelf life, your brand new high-def TV will likely need 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.
Typically, a set of hearing aids will last anywhere between 2-5 years, though with the technology emerging you may want to upgrade sooner. There are several possible factors that will impact the shelf life of your hearing aids:
- Batteries: Internal, rechargeable batteries are standard with the majority of hearing aids in current use. The shelf life of your hearing aid is dramatically impacted by the kind of batteries they use.
- Construction: These days, hearing aids are made out of all kinds of materials, from silicon to metal to nano-coated plastics, and so on. The devices are created to be ergonomic and durable, but some materials do experience wear-and-tear along the way. If you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be impacted despite quality construction.
- Type: There are two basic 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 commonly have a shelf life of about five years. Behind-the-ear models usually last about 6-7 years (mostly because they’re able to stay cleaner and drier).
- Care: It shouldn’t be surprising to know that if you care for your hearing aids, they will last longer. Doing standard required upkeep and cleaning is vital. Time put into proper care will translate almost directly into increased operational time.
In most cases, the shelf life of your hearing aid is an approximation determined by typical usage. But failing to wear your hearing aids might also diminish their projected usefulness (leaving them unmaintained in a humid drawer, as an example, may very well curtail the lifespan of your hearing devices, specifically if you leave the battery in).
And every so often, hearing aids should be checked and cleaned professionally. This helps make certain they still fit correctly and don’t have a build-up of wax impeding their ability to work.
It’s a Smart Idea to Upgrade Your Hearing Aids Before They Wear Out
Years from now there might come a time when the efficiency of your hearing aids begins to decline. Then you will need to shop for a new set. But there will be scenarios when it will be practical to get a more modern hearing aid before your current one shows signs of wear. Here are a few of those scenarios:
- Changes in your hearing: You should change your hearing aid situation if the condition of your hearing changes. Put simply, your hearing aids will no longer be adjusted to yield the best possible results. If you want an optimal level of hearing, new hearing aids might be required.
- Technology changes: Every year, hearing aid manufacturers introduce innovative new technologies that make hearing aids more useful in novel ways. 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 many instances, your first set of hearing aids may be obtained with a particular lifestyle in mind. But perhaps your circumstances change, maybe you’ve become more active and you need a pair that are waterproof, more durable, or rechargeable.
You can understand why the timetable for replacing your hearing devices is difficult to predict. Generally, that 2-5 year range is pretty accurate contingent upon these few factors.