If you take good care of them, hearing aids can keep working for years. But they stop being useful if they no longer treat your level of hearing loss. Your hearing aids are dialed into your specific level of hearing loss and comparable to prescription glasses, should be upgraded if your situation worsens. Assuming they are fitted and programmed properly, here’s how long you can anticipate they will last.
Is There an Expiration Time For Hearing Aids?
Almost everything you buy has a shelf life. It could take a couple of weeks for the milk in your fridge to expire. A few months to several years is the shelf life of canned goods. Within the next few years or so, even your new high-def TV will have to be swapped out. So learning that your hearing aids have a shelf life is probably not very shocking.
2 to 5 years is generally the shelf life for a pair of hearing aids, however you might want to replace them sooner with the new technology coming out. But the shelf life of your hearing aids will be determined by several possible factors:
- Care: It shouldn’t surprise you to find out that if you take good care of your hearing aids, they will last longer. This means making sure your hearing aids are cleaned frequently and undergo any necessary regular upkeep. Time put into care will translate almost directly into increased functional time.
- 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. Behind-the-ear models typically last around 6-7 years (largely because they’re able to stay drier and cleaner).
- Batteries: Rechargeable, internal batteries are standard with the majority of hearing aids in current use. The type of battery or power supply your hearing aids use can significantly influence the overall shelf life of different models.
- Construction: These days, hearing aids are made out of all kinds of materials, from metal to silicon to nano-coated plastics, and so on. Some wear-and-tear can be expected despite the fact that hearing aids are manufactured to be durable and ergonomic. If you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be impacted regardless of quality construction.
Usually, the standard usage of your hearing aid determines the real shelf life. But the potential life expectancy of your hearing aids is reduced if they’re not used regularly (leaving your hearing aids neglected on a shelf and unmaintained can also diminish the lifespan of your hearing aids).
Hearing aids should also be checked and professionally cleaned every now and then. This helps make sure they still fit correctly and don’t have a build-up of wax impeding their ability to work.
It’s a Good Idea to Replace Your Hearing Aids Before They Wear Out
There could come a time when, years from now, your hearing aid performance starts to decline. And it will be time, therefore, to begin searching for a new set. But in a few situations, you might find a new pair advantageous long before your hearing aids begin to show their age. Here are a few of those situations:
- 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.
- Your hearing fluctuates: You need to change your hearing aid scenario if the state of your hearing changes. Essentially, your hearing aids will no longer be adjusted to yield the best possible results. If you want an optimal degree of hearing, new hearing aids might be needed.
- Changes in lifestyle: In some circumstances, your first pair of hearing aids may be obtained with a particular lifestyle in mind. But maybe your conditions change, maybe you’ve become more active and you need a set that are waterproof, more durable, or rechargeable.
You can see why it’s hard to predict a timetable for replacing your hearing aids. Generally, that 2-5 year range is fairly accurate depending on these few variables.