Hearing aids, if you take care of them properly, can keep working for years. But they are only helpful 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 condition worsens. Here’s how long you can expect your hearing aids to last if they are fitted and programmed correctly.
Do Hearing Aids Expire?
There’s a shelf life for nearly any product. It could take a couple of weeks for the milk inside your refrigerator to expire. Canned products can last between several months to a number of years. Within the next few years or so, even your new high-def TV will need to be swapped out. It’s probably not shocking, then, that your hearing aids also have a shelf life.
2 to 5 years is typically the shelf life for a pair of hearing aids, though you may want to replace them sooner with the new technology emerging. But the shelf life of your hearing aids will depend on several possible factors:
- Care: It shouldn’t be surprising to know that if you take good care of your hearing aids, they will last longer. Performing regular required upkeep and cleaning is essential. You will get added functional time from your hearing aid in almost direct proportion to the time you put into care.
- Construction: Today, 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 despite the fact that hearing aids are manufactured to be ergonomic and durable. If you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be affected despite quality construction.
- Type: There are a couple of primary types 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: The majority of (but not all) hearing aids currently use rechargeable, internal batteries. The type of battery or power supply your hearing aids use can dramatically impact the overall shelf life of different models.
Normally, the standard usage of your hearing aid defines the actual shelf life. But neglecting to wear your hearing aids might also reduce their projected usefulness (putting them unmaintained in a humid drawer, for example, may very well reduce the life expectancy of your hearing devices, especially if you leave the battery in place).
Hearing aids should also be checked and professionally cleaned every so often. This helps make sure they still fit properly and don’t have a build-up of wax impeding their ability to work.
Replacing Hearing Aids Before They Wear Down
There might come a time when, years from now, your hearing aid functionality starts to decline. Then you will need to shop for a new pair. But in some cases, you might find that a new pair will be practical well before your hearing aids begin to show their age. Here are some of those scenarios:
- Technology changes: 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.
- Changes in your hearing: You need to change your hearing aid situation if the condition of your hearing changes. Essentially, your hearing aids will no longer be adjusted to yield the best possible results. In these situations, a new hearing aid might be required for you to hear optimally.
- Your lifestyle changes: You might, in many cases, have a specific lifestyle in mind when you purchase your hearing aids. But maybe now your lifestyle changes require you to get hearing aids that are more durable or waterproof or rechargeable.
You can understand why the plan for updating your hearing devices is difficult to predict. Usually, that 2-5 year range is fairly accurate contingent upon these few variables.