If you take good care of them, hearing aids can keep working for years. But they quit being useful if they no longer treat your degree of hearing loss. As with prescription glasses, your hearing aids are programmed to your particular hearing loss, which needs to be tested on a regular basis. Here’s how long you can expect your hearing aids to last if they are fitted and programmed properly.
Is There an Expiration Time For Hearing Aids?
Almost everything you buy has a shelf life. With the milk in your fridge, that shelf life might be a few weeks. Several 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 need to be swapped out. It’s certainly not surprising, then, that your hearing aids also have a shelf life.
Generally, a pair of hearing aids will last anywhere between 2-5 years, though with the technology emerging you may want to replace them sooner. But the shelf life of your hearing aids will depend on several possible factors:
- Type: There are a couple of primary 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. Behind-the-ear models typically last around 6-7 years (mainly because they’re able to stay cleaner and drier).
- Batteries: Most (but not all) hearing aids presently use internal, rechargeable batteries. The shelf life of your hearing aid is substantially impacted by the kind of batteries they use.
- Care: It shouldn’t surprise you to know that if you take good care of your hearing aids, they will last longer. Doing standard required upkeep and cleaning is vital. You will get added functional time from your hearing aid in almost direct proportion to the time you put into care.
- Construction: Materials such as nano-coated plastics, silicon, and metal are used to produce modern hearing aids. Some wear-and-tear can be anticipated despite the fact that hearing aids are designed to be durable and ergonomic. If you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be influenced despite quality construction.
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 on a regular basis (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 so often. This helps make certain they still fit properly and don’t have a build-up of wax blocking their ability to work.
Upgrading Hearing Aids Before They Wear Out
There could come a time when, years from now, your hearing aid performance begins to decline. And it will be time, then, to start shopping for a new set. But there will be situations when it will be advantageous to buy a more modern hearing aid before your current one shows signs of wear. Here are some of those situations:
- Technology changes: Every year, hearing aid manufacturers introduce innovative new technologies that make hearing aids more useful in novel ways. 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: You could, in many cases, have a particular lifestyle in mind when you purchase your hearing aids. But perhaps your circumstances change, maybe you’ve become more physically active and need a set that are waterproof, more heavy-duty, or rechargeable.
- Changes in your hearing: You need to change your hearing aid circumstance if the condition of your hearing changes. In other words, 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 needed.
You can see why it’s hard to estimate a timetable for updating your hearing aids. How many years your hearing aids will last depends on a handful of factors, but you can generally count on that 2-5 year range.