If you care for them, hearing aids can keep working for years. But they’re only useful if they still reflect your degree of hearing loss. Your hearing aids are calibrated to your distinct level of hearing loss and similar to prescription glasses, should be upgraded if your situation gets worse. Here’s how long you can expect your hearing aids to last if they are fitted and programmed correctly.
Is There an Expiration Time For Hearing Aids?
There’s a shelf life for almost any product. It could take a couple of weeks for the milk in your fridge to expire. Canned products can last between several months to several years. Within the next few years or so, even your new high-def TV will have to be swapped out. It’s certainly not surprising, then, that your hearing aids also have a shelf life.
2 to 5 years is generally the shelf life for a set of hearing aids, although you might want to replace them sooner with the new technology coming out. There are several possible factors that will impact the shelf life of your hearing aids:
- Construction: Today, hearing aids are made out of all kinds of materials, from metal to silicon 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. In spite of premium construction, if you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be impacted.
- Type: There are a couple of basic kinds of hearing aids: inside-the-ear and behind-the-ear. Because they are exposed to the sweat, dirt, and debris from the ear canal, inside-the-ear models commonly have a shelf life of around five years. Because they are able to remain dryer and cleaner, behind the ear models typically last 6-7 years.
- Batteries: Most (but not all) hearing aids currently use rechargeable, internal batteries. The type of battery or power supply your hearing aids use can dramatically influence the overall shelf life of different models.
- Care: It shouldn’t be surprising to know that if you care for your hearing aids, they will last longer. Doing standard required maintenance and cleaning is crucial. You will get added operational time out of your hearing aid in almost direct proportion to time put into care.
Usually, the standard usage of your hearing aid determines the real shelf life. But the potential longevity of your hearing aids is lessened if they’re not used regularly (leaving them unmaintained on a dusty shelf, as an example, could very well curtail the life expectancy of your hearing devices, particularly if you leave the battery in).
And every now and then, hearing aids should be checked and cleaned professionally. This helps make sure that there is no wax buildup and that they still fit correctly.
It’s a Good Idea to Upgrade Your Hearing Aids Before They Wear Down
There might come a time when, down the road, your hearing aid functionality starts to decline. Then you will have to shop for a new pair. But there will be situations when it will be practical to get a more modern hearing aid before your current one shows signs of wear. Some of those scenarios could include:
- Your hearing fluctuates: You should change your hearing aid situation if the state of your hearing changes. Put simply, your hearing aids will no longer be calibrated to yield the best possible results. If you want an optimal level of hearing, new hearing aids could be required.
- Changes in technology: 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 lifestyle changes: In many instances, your first set of hearing aids may be obtained with a certain lifestyle in mind. But perhaps your conditions change, maybe you’ve become more physically active and need a pair that are waterproof, more rugged, or rechargeable.
You can understand why it’s hard to estimate a timetable for updating your hearing aids. Usually, that 2-5 year range is pretty accurate depending on these few variables.