If you care for them, hearing aids can last for years. But they are only practical if they still address your degree of hearing loss. As with prescription glasses, your hearing aids are calibrated to your specific hearing loss, which should be tested regularly. Here’s how long you can anticipate your hearing aids will last assuming they are programed and fitted properly.
Do Hearing Aids Expire?
There’s a shelf life for nearly any product. With the milk in your fridge, that shelf life might be a few weeks. Canned goods can last between several months to several years. 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.
Normally, 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 be determined by several possible factors:
- Batteries: Rechargeable, internal batteries are standard with most hearing aids in current use. The shelf life of your hearing aid is substantially influenced by the kind of batteries they use.
- Construction: Today, hearing aids are constructed from all kinds of materials, from metal to silicon to nano-coated plastics, and so on. The devices are created to be ergonomic and durable, but some materials do experience wear-and-tear along the way. In spite of premium construction, if you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be affected.
- Type: There are two 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 due to exposure to dirt, sweat, and debris of the ear canal. Because they are able to remain dryer and cleaner, behind the ear models commonly last 6-7 years.
- Care: It shouldn’t be surprising to know that if you care for your hearing aids, they will last longer. This means making sure your hearing aids are cleaned on a regular basis and undergo any necessary regular upkeep. You will get added operational time from your hearing aid in almost direct proportion to the time you put into care.
Usually, the standard usage of your hearing aid determines the exact shelf life. But neglecting to wear your hearing aids might also diminish their expected usefulness (putting them unmaintained on a dusty shelf, as an example, could very well curtail the life expectancy of your hearing devices, specifically if you leave the battery in).
Hearing aids should also be checked and professionally cleaned every now and then. This helps make sure that there is no wax buildup and that they still fit properly.
It’s a Smart Idea to Switch Out Your Hearing Aids Before They Wear Down
There might come a time when, years from now, your hearing aid effectiveness starts to wane. And it will be time, therefore, to start shopping for a new pair. But in some cases, you may find a new pair practical well before your hearing aids begin to show wear and tear. Here are some of those situations:
- Changes in lifestyle: In some instances, your first pair of hearing aids might be purchased with a particular 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.
- Your hearing changes: You need to change your hearing aid scenario if the condition of your hearing changes. Your hearing aids might no longer be calibrated to successfully treat your hearing issue. If you want an optimal degree of hearing, new hearing aids may be needed.
- 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.
You can understand why it’s hard to predict a timetable for replacing your hearing aids. How many years your hearing aids will fit your needs depends on a handful of factors, but you can generally count on that 2-5 year range.