Hearing aids, if you care for them correctly, can last for years. But they stop being helpful if they no longer address your level of hearing loss. Your hearing aids are dialed into your distinct level of hearing loss and similar to prescription glasses, should be upgraded if your situation gets worse. If they are fitted and programmed correctly, here’s how long you can expect them to last.
Is There an Expiration Time For Hearing Aids?
Almost everything you purchase has a shelf life. It could take a couple of weeks for the milk inside your refrigerator to expire. Several months to several years is the shelf life of canned products. Even electronics have a shelf life, your brand new high-def TV will most likely have to be swapped out some time in the next five years or so. It’s certainly not shocking, then, that your hearing aids also have a shelf life.
In general, a pair of hearing aids will last approximately 2-5 years, although with the technology coming out you might want to upgrade sooner. There are a number of possible factors that will effect the shelf life of your hearing aids:
- Batteries: The majority of (but not all) hearing aids presently use internal, rechargeable batteries. The kind of battery or power supply your hearing aids use can significantly impact the total shelf life of various models.
- Construction: These days, hearing aids are constructed from many kinds of materials, from silicon to metal to nano-coated plastics, and so on. Some wear-and-tear can be expected despite 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.
- Care: It shouldn’t surprise you to know that if you take good care of your hearing aids, they will last longer. Carrying out standard required maintenance and cleaning is essential. Time put into care will translate almost directly into increased operational time.
- Type: There are two basic types of hearing aids: inside-the-ear and behind-the-ear. Five years or so will be the expected shelf life of inside-the-ear model hearing aids as a result of exposure to debris, sweat, and dirt of the ear canal. Because they are able to stay cleaner and dryer, behind the ear models typically last 6-7 years.
In most circumstances, the shelf life of your hearing aid is an estimate based on typical usage. But failing to wear your hearing aids may also minimize their estimated usefulness (leaving your hearing aids neglected on a shelf and unmaintained can also diminish the lifespan of your hearing aids).
And every now and then, hearing aids should be checked and cleaned professionally. This helps make certain that there is no wax buildup and that they still fit properly.
It’s a Smart Idea to Replace Your Hearing Aids Before They Wear Down
There may come a time when, years from now, your hearing aid functionality begins to wane. And it will be time, therefore, to begin looking for a new pair. But in certain cases, you might find a new pair worthwhile well before your hearing aids start to show their age. Here are some of those scenarios:
- 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 your hearing: You need to change your hearing aid circumstance if the state of your hearing changes. In other words, your hearing aids will no longer be calibrated to yield the best possible results. In these cases, a new hearing aid may be necessary for you to hear optimally.
- Changes in lifestyle: In some circumstances, your first pair of hearing aids might be purchased with a certain lifestyle in mind. But maybe now your lifestyle changes require you to get hearing aids that are more durable or waterproof or rechargeable.
You can see why the plan for updating your hearing aid is difficult to predict. Usually, that 2-5 year range is fairly accurate depending on these few variables.