Hearing aids, if you care for them correctly, can keep working for years. But they quit being helpful if they no longer treat your degree of hearing loss. Your hearing aids are calibrated to your specific level of hearing loss and similar to prescription glasses, should be upgraded if your situation gets worse. Assuming they are fitted and programmed properly, here’s how long you can expect them to last.
Is There an Expiration Time For Hearing Aids?
Just about everything you purchase has a shelf life. With the milk in your fridge, that shelf life might be a few weeks. A few months to several years is the shelf life of canned products. Even electronics have a shelf life, your brand new high-def TV will probably need to be swapped out some time in the next few years. 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, however you might want to upgrade sooner with the new technology emerging. But the shelf life of your hearing aids will be based upon a number of possible factors:
- Construction: Materials such as nano-coated plastics, silicon, and metal are used to produce modern hearing aids. Some wear-and-tear can be expected despite the fact that hearing aids are designed to be durable and ergonomic. If you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be influenced despite quality construction.
- Type: There are a couple of primary kinds of hearing aids: inside-the-ear and behind-the-ear. Because they are subjected to the debris, sweat, and dirt of the ear canal, inside-the-ear models tend to have a shelf life of about five years. Because they are able to stay cleaner and dryer, behind the ear models typically last 6-7 years.
- Care: This shouldn’t be surprising, but the better care for hearing aids, the longer they will last. Doing regular required maintenance and cleaning is crucial. Time put into care will translate almost directly into increased functional time.
- 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 type of batteries they use.
Normally, the typical usage of your hearing aid determines the actual shelf life. But neglecting to wear your hearing aids could also minimize their estimated usefulness (putting them unmaintained in a humid drawer, for example, could very well reduce the life expectancy of your hearing devices, especially if you leave the battery in).
Hearing aids should also be checked and professionally cleaned every so often. This helps make sure that there is no wax buildup and that they still fit properly.
Replacing Hearing Aids Before They Wear Out
There might come a time when, years from now, your hearing aid functionality starts to decline. Then you will have to look for a new pair. But in some situations, you might find that a new pair will be practical long before your hearing aids begin to show their age. Some of those scenarios could include:
- Changes in your hearing: You should change your hearing aid situation if the condition of your hearing changes. Your hearing aids could no longer be calibrated to effectively manage your hearing issue. 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 some instances, your first pair of hearing aids may be obtained with a particular lifestyle in mind. But perhaps your conditions change, maybe you’ve become more physically active and you need a set that are waterproof, more rugged, or rechargeable.
You can understand why the plan for updating your hearing aid is difficult to estimate. How many years your hearing aids will fit your needs depends on a handful of variables, but you can usually count on that 2-5 year range.