If you care for them, hearing aids can keep working for years. But they are only helpful if they still reflect your degree of hearing loss. Your hearing aids are dialed into your specific level of hearing loss and similar to prescription glasses, need to be upgraded if your condition worsens. Here’s how long you can anticipate your hearing aids will last if they are programed and fitted properly.
Do Hearing Aids Expire?
There’s a shelf life for almost any product. It could take a couple of weeks for the milk in your fridge to expire. Canned products can last between a few months to several years. Within the next few years or so, even your new high-def TV will have to be swapped out. So finding out that your hearing aids have a shelf life is probably not very shocking.
In general, a pair of hearing aids will last approximately 2-5 years, though with the technology coming out you might want to replace them sooner. There are several possible factors that will impact the shelf life of your hearing aids:
- Care: This shouldn’t be surprising, but the better care for hearing aids, the longer they will last. Doing standard required upkeep and cleaning is crucial. Time put into proper 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. Because they are subjected to the sweat, dirt, and debris of the ear canal, inside-the-ear models commonly have a shelf life of around five years. Behind-the-ear models usually last about 6-7 years (mainly because they’re able to stay cleaner and drier).
- Batteries: Internal, rechargeable batteries are standard with the majority of hearing aids in current use. The shelf life of your hearing aid is considerably impacted by the type of batteries they use.
- Construction: These days, hearing aids are made from all types of materials, from metal to silicon to nano-coated plastics, and so on. Some wear-and-tear can be expected despite the fact that hearing aids are manufactured to be ergonomic and durable. If you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be impacted despite quality construction.
Usually, the typical usage of your hearing aid defines the real shelf life. But failing to wear your hearing aids may also diminish their estimated usefulness (leaving your hearing aids neglected on a shelf and unmaintained can also diminish the lifespan of your hearing aids).
Hearing aids should also be inspected and professionally cleaned every now and then. This helps make sure they still fit correctly and don’t have a build-up of wax blocking their ability to work.
It’s a Good Idea to Switch Out Your Hearing Aids Before They Wear Out
In the future there might come a time when the performance of your hearing aids begins to decline. And it will be time, therefore, to begin looking around for a new set. But in certain cases, you might find a new pair beneficial well before your hearing aids start to show their age. Some of those scenarios might include:
- Changes in lifestyle: You might, in many cases, have a specific lifestyle in mind when you purchase your hearing aids. But perhaps your circumstances change, maybe you’ve become more physically active and need a pair that are waterproof, more rugged, 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 need to change your hearing aid scenario if the state of your hearing changes. Essentially, your hearing aids will no longer be adjusted to yield the best possible results. In these situations, a new hearing aid could be imperative for you to hear optimally.
You can see why it’s difficult to predict a timetable for updating your hearing aids. Normally, that 2-5 year range is pretty accurate contingent upon these few variables.