Hearing aids, if you care for them correctly, can last 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 comparable to prescription glasses, need to be updated if your situation worsens. Here’s how long you can anticipate your hearing aids will last if they are programed and fitted correctly.
Do Hearing Aids Expire?
Nearly everything you purchase has a shelf life. 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. 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 probably not very surprising.
Generally, a pair of hearing aids will last anywhere between 2-5 years, although with the technology coming out you may want to upgrade sooner. There are several possible factors that will impact the shelf life of your hearing aids:
- Construction: Today, hearing aids are made out of many types of materials, from silicon to metal to nano-coated plastics, and so on. The devices are designed to be ergonomic and durable, but some materials do suffer from wear-and-tear along the way. If you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be impacted regardless of quality construction.
- Care: This shouldn’t be surprising, but the better you take care of hearing aids, the longer they’ll last. This means making certain your hearing aids are cleaned regularly and have any required regular upkeep. Time put into care will translate almost directly into increased operational time.
- Type: There are two primary types of hearing aids: inside-the-ear and behind-the-ear. Five years or so will be the estimated shelf life of inside-the-ear model hearing aids because of exposure to dirt, sweat, and debris of the ear canal. Behind-the-ear models commonly last about 6-7 years (mainly because they’re able to stay drier and cleaner).
- 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 substantially influence the total shelf life of different models.
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 projected 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 properly.
Updating Hearing Aids Before They Wear Down
In the future there may come a time when the functionality of your hearing aids starts to decline. And it will be time, then, to start looking for a new set. But in certain cases, you may find that a new pair will be beneficial well before your hearing aids begin to show wear and tear. Some of those situations could include:
- Your lifestyle changes: You could, in many cases, have a particular lifestyle in mind when you purchase your hearing aids. But maybe now your lifestyle changes require you to get hearing aids that are more durable or waterproof or rechargeable.
- Changes in technology: 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.
- Changes in your hearing: You should change your hearing aid circumstance if the state of your hearing changes. Your hearing aids may no longer be calibrated to successfully treat your hearing problem. If you want an optimal degree of hearing, new hearing aids may be needed.
You can understand 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 usually count on that 2-5 year range.