Hearing aids, if you take care of them properly, can keep working for years. But they stop being practical if they no longer treat your degree of hearing loss. Your hearing aids are calibrated to your particular level of hearing loss and much like prescription glasses, should be upgraded if your condition worsens. Here’s how long you can expect your hearing aids to last if they are programed and fitted correctly.
Do Hearing Aids Expire?
Just about everything you buy has a shelf life. It could take a couple of weeks for the milk in your fridge to expire. Canned goods can last between a few 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 normally the shelf life for a set of hearing aids, however you may want to replace them sooner with the new technology coming out. But the shelf life of your hearing aids will be determined by a number of possible factors:
- Type: There are a couple of basic kinds of hearing aids: inside-the-ear and behind-the-ear. Because they are exposed to the debris, sweat, and dirt from the ear canal, inside-the-ear models normally have a shelf life of about five years. Because they are able to remain dryer and cleaner, behind the ear models normally last 6-7 years.
- Batteries: Internal, rechargeable batteries are standard with most hearing aids in current use. The kind of battery or power supply your hearing aids use can significantly impact the overall shelf life of different models.
- Construction: Today, hearing aids are made out of all types of materials, from silicon to metal to nano-coated plastics, and so on. Some wear-and-tear can be expected in spite of 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 be surprising to find out that if you care for your hearing aids, they will last longer. Carrying out regular required upkeep and cleaning is indispensable. Time put into proper care will translate almost directly into increased operational time.
Normally, the standard usage of your hearing aid defines the real shelf life. But the potential longevity of your hearing aids is lessened if they’re not worn 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 now and then, hearing aids should be inspected and cleaned professionally. This helps make certain that there is no wax buildup and that they still fit properly.
It’s a Good Idea to Upgrade Your Hearing Aids Before They Wear Down
There could come a time when, years from now, your hearing aid functionality starts to wane. And it will be time, then, to begin looking around for a new set. But in some cases, you may find a new pair practical well before your hearing aids begin to show wear and tear. Some of those scenarios might include:
- Your hearing changes: If your hearing gets significantly worse (or better), the characteristics of your hearing aids change also. Essentially, your hearing aids will no longer be calibrated to yield the best possible benefits. In these situations, a new hearing aid could be required for you to hear optimally.
- Your lifestyle changes: In some cases, your first pair of hearing aids may be obtained with a certain lifestyle in mind. But maybe your conditions change, maybe you’ve become more active and you need a pair that are waterproof, more rugged, or rechargeable.
- Changes in technology: 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.
You can understand why the plan for replacing your hearing aid is difficult to predict. Usually, that 2-5 year range is fairly accurate contingent upon these few variables.