Hearing aids, if you take care of them properly, can last for years. But they quit being useful if they no longer treat your degree of hearing loss. As with prescription glasses, your hearing aids are programmed 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 programed and fitted correctly.
Is There an Expiration Time For Hearing Aids?
There’s a shelf life for pretty much any product. It could take a couple of weeks for the milk in your fridge to expire. Canned products can last between several months to a number of years. Within the next few years or so, even your new high-def TV will have to be swapped out. It’s certainly not surprising, then, that your hearing aids also have a shelf life.
2 to 5 years is generally the shelf life for a pair of hearing aids, however you might want to upgrade sooner with the new technology coming out. But the shelf life of your hearing aids will be determined by a number of possible factors:
- Construction: Materials like nano-coated plastics, silicon, and metal are used to construct 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 regardless of quality construction.
- Batteries: The majority of (but not all) hearing aids currently use rechargeable, internal batteries. The shelf life of your hearing aid is significantly influenced by the kind of batteries they use.
- Care: It shouldn’t surprise you to find out that if you take good care of your hearing aids, they will last longer. This means ensuring your hearing aids are cleaned regularly and undergo any required regular upkeep. Time put into care will translate almost directly into added functional time.
- Type: There are a couple of basic kinds of hearing aids: inside-the-ear and behind-the-ear. Because they are exposed to the sweat, dirt, and debris of the ear canal, inside-the-ear models commonly have a shelf life of about five years. Because they are able to stay dryer and cleaner, behind the ear models normally last 6-7 years.
Generally, the typical usage of your hearing aid determines the exact shelf life. But failing to wear your hearing aids may also minimize their projected usefulness (putting them unmaintained in a humid drawer, for example, may very well curtail the life expectancy of your hearing devices, specifically if you leave the battery in).
Hearing aids should also be inspected and professionally cleaned every now and then. This helps make certain they still fit correctly and don’t have a build-up of wax blocking their ability to work.
Replacing Hearing Aids Before They Wear Out
There could come a time when, years from now, your hearing aid performance begins to decline. Then you will need to look for a new set. But there will be scenarios when it will be advantageous to buy a more modern hearing aid before your current one shows signs of wear. Some of those scenarios might include:
- Your hearing changes: You should change your hearing aid circumstance if the state of your hearing changes. Your hearing aids may no longer be calibrated to successfully manage your hearing problem. In these situations, a new hearing aid could be necessary for you to hear optimally.
- Changes in technology: Hearing aids are becoming more useful in novel ways every year. If one of these cutting edge technologies looks like it’s going to help you significantly, it could be worth investing in a new pair of devices sooner rather than later.
- Changes in lifestyle: You might, in many cases, have a certain 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.
You can understand why the timetable for replacing your hearing devices is difficult to predict. Normally, that 2-5 year range is fairly accurate contingent upon these few variables.