Hearing aids, if you take care of them correctly, can keep working for years. But they’re only helpful if they still address your degree of hearing loss. Your hearing aids are calibrated to your distinct level of hearing loss and much like prescription glasses, should be updated if your condition worsens. If they are fitted and programmed properly, here’s how long you can anticipate they will last.
Is There an Expiration Time For Hearing Aids?
There’s a shelf life for nearly any product. It could take a couple of weeks for the milk in your refrigerator to expire. A few months to several years is the shelf life of canned products. Even electronic devices have a shelf life, your brand new high-def TV will probably need to be upgraded some time in the next few years. It’s probably not shocking, then, that your hearing aids also have a shelf life.
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 emerging. But the shelf life of your hearing aids will be based upon a number of possible factors:
- Construction: Materials such as nano-coated plastics, silicon, and metal are used to construct modern hearing aids. Some wear-and-tear can be anticipated in spite of 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 regardless of quality construction.
- Type: There are two primary kinds of hearing aids: inside-the-ear and behind-the-ear. Because they are subjected to the sweat, dirt, and debris of the ear canal, inside-the-ear models normally have a shelf life of around five years. Behind-the-ear models commonly last about 6-7 years (mostly because they’re able to stay drier and cleaner).
- Care: This shouldn’t be surprising, but the better care you take of your hearing aids, the longer they will last. Carrying out standard required upkeep and cleaning is crucial. Time put into care will translate almost directly into increased functional time.
- Batteries: The majority of (but not all) hearing aids presently use rechargeable, internal batteries. The kind of battery or power supply your hearing aids use can dramatically influence the total shelf life of various models.
In most circumstances, the shelf life of your hearing aid is an approximation determined by typical usage. But the potential life expectancy of your hearing aids is diminished 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).
And every so often, hearing aids should be inspected and cleaned professionally. This helps make certain that there is no wax buildup and that they still fit correctly.
It’s a Smart Idea to Switch Out 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 need to shop for a new pair. But there will be situations when it will be practical to purchase a more modern hearing aid before your current one shows signs of wear. Some of those situations might include:
- Your hearing changes: If your hearing gets significantly worse (or better), the dynamics of your hearing aids change too. Essentially, your hearing aids will no longer be calibrated to yield the best possible results. If you want an optimal degree of hearing, new hearing aids may be required.
- Changes in lifestyle: In many circumstances, your first pair of hearing aids may be purchased with a particular lifestyle in mind. But maybe your circumstances change, maybe you’ve become more physically active and you need a pair that are waterproof, more heavy-duty, or rechargeable.
- Changes in technology: 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.
You can understand why it’s hard to predict a timetable for updating your hearing aids. How many years your hearing aids will last depends on a handful of variables, but you can normally count on that 2-5 year range.