Hearing aids, if you take care of them properly, can keep working for years. But they’re only helpful if they still reflect your degree of hearing loss. Similar to 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 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 refrigerator, that shelf life may be several weeks. Canned products can last anywhere from a few months to several years. Within the next few years or so, even your new high-def TV will need to be swapped out. So learning that your hearing aids have a shelf life is most likely not very shocking.
2 to 5 years is normally the shelf life for a pair of hearing aids, though you may want to upgrade sooner with the new technology coming out. There are a number of possible factors that will effect the shelf life of your hearing aids:
- Type: There are two primary types of hearing aids: inside-the-ear and behind-the-ear. Because they are subjected to the debris, sweat, and dirt from the ear canal, inside-the-ear models commonly have a shelf life of about five years. Because they are able to remain cleaner and dryer, behind the ear models normally last 6-7 years.
- Batteries: Most (but not all) hearing aids presently use internal, rechargeable batteries. The kind of battery or power supply your hearing aids use can substantially impact the total shelf life of various models.
- Care: It shouldn’t be surprising to find out that if you take good care of your hearing aids, they will last longer. Doing regular required upkeep and cleaning is crucial. You will get added operational time from your hearing aid in almost direct proportion to the time you put into care.
- Construction: These days, hearing aids are made from many kinds of materials, from silicon to metal to nano-coated plastics, and so on. Some wear-and-tear can be anticipated despite the fact that hearing aids are manufactured to be ergonomic and durable. In spite of quality construction, if you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be impacted.
In most situations, the shelf life of your hearing aid is an estimation based on typical usage. But failing to wear your hearing aids could also minimize their expected usefulness (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 correctly.
It’s a Smart Idea to Replace Your Hearing Aids Before They Wear Down
Years from now there may come a time when the efficiency of your hearing aids begins to diminish. Then you will need to look for a new set. But in some cases, you might find a new pair practical well before your hearing aids begin to show their age. Some of those scenarios could include:
- Changes in your hearing: If your hearing gets substantially worse (or better), the dynamics of your hearing assistance change as well. Put simply, your hearing aids will no longer be adjusted to yield the best possible benefits. If you want an optimal level of hearing, new hearing aids might be needed.
- Changes in lifestyle: In some instances, your first pair of hearing aids might be obtained with a particular lifestyle in mind. But maybe now your lifestyle changes require you to get hearing aids that are more durable or waterproof or rechargeable.
- 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 see why the plan for replacing your hearing aid is difficult to predict. 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.