Hearing aids, if you take care of them correctly, can keep working for years. But they stop being practical if they no longer address your degree of hearing loss. Your hearing aids are calibrated to your distinct level of hearing loss and comparable to prescription glasses, need to be updated if your condition gets worse. Assuming they are fitted and programmed correctly, here’s how long you can anticipate they will last.
Do Hearing Aids Expire?
There’s a shelf life for pretty much any product. It could take a couple of weeks for the milk in your refrigerator to expire. Several 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 have to be swapped out some time in the next five years or so. So learning that your hearing aids have a shelf life is most likely not very shocking.
Typically, a set of hearing aids will last anywhere between 2-5 years, though with the technology emerging you may want to upgrade sooner. There are several possible factors that will effect the shelf life of your hearing aids:
- Construction: Materials like nano-coated plastics, silicon, and metal are used to construct modern hearing aids. 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.
- Batteries: Most (but not all) hearing aids presently use rechargeable, internal batteries. The kind of battery or power supply your hearing aids use can substantially impact the overall shelf life of various models.
- Care: This shouldn’t be surprising, but the better care for hearing aids, the longer they will last. This means making certain your hearing aids are cleaned on a regular basis and have any required regular upkeep. Time put into care will translate almost directly into added operational time.
- Type: There are two basic kinds 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 due to exposure to dirt, sweat, and debris of the ear canal. Behind-the-ear models commonly last around 6-7 years (largely because they’re able to stay drier and cleaner).
Generally, the typical usage of your hearing aid determines the actual shelf life. But the potential life expectancy of your hearing aids is reduced 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 now and then, hearing aids should be examined 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 Upgrade Your Hearing Aids Before They Wear Down
Years from now there could come a time when the functionality of your hearing aids begins to decline. Then you will need to shop for a new pair. But there will be scenarios when it will be practical to get a more modern hearing aid before your current one shows signs of wear. Here are a few of those scenarios:
- Your hearing changes: If your hearing gets substantially worse (or better), the characteristics of your hearing assistance change also. Put simply, your hearing aids will no longer be adjusted to yield the best possible results. If you want an optimal degree of hearing, new hearing aids could be required.
- 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.
- Your lifestyle changes: In many instances, your first set of hearing aids may be obtained with a certain lifestyle in mind. But maybe your circumstances change, maybe you’ve become more physically active and need a set that are waterproof, more durable, or rechargeable.
You can see why the plan for replacing your hearing aid is difficult to predict. How many years your hearing aids will last depends on a handful of variables, but you can generally count on that 2-5 year range.