If you take good care of them, hearing aids can last for years. But they are only helpful if they still reflect your level of hearing loss. Your hearing aids are calibrated to your distinct level of hearing loss and much like prescription glasses, need to be upgraded if your situation gets worse. Assuming they are fitted and programmed correctly, here’s how long you can expect them to last.
Is There an Expiration Time For Hearing Aids?
There’s a shelf life for pretty much any product. With the milk in your refrigerator, that shelf life may be a few weeks. Canned products can last between several months to several years. Even electronic devices have a shelf life, your brand new high-def TV will probably need to be swapped out some time in the next few years. It’s probably not shocking, then, that your hearing aids also have a shelf life.
2 to 5 years is normally the shelf life for a pair of hearing aids, though you might want to upgrade sooner with the new technology emerging. But the shelf life of your hearing aids will depend on several possible factors:
- Type: There are a couple of basic types of hearing aids: inside-the-ear and behind-the-ear. Because they are subjected to the debris, sweat, and dirt from the ear canal, inside-the-ear models commonly have a shelf life of about five years. Behind-the-ear models typically last about 6-7 years (mainly because they’re able to stay drier and cleaner).
- Batteries: Internal, rechargeable batteries are standard with the majority of hearing aids in current use. The kind of battery or power supply your hearing aids use can significantly influence the total shelf life of various models.
- Care: It shouldn’t surprise you to know that if you take good care of your hearing aids, they will last longer. Doing standard required upkeep and cleaning is essential. You will get added operational time out of your hearing aid in almost direct proportion to the time you put into care.
- Construction: These days, hearing aids are made from all types of materials, from metal to silicon 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 influenced regardless of quality construction.
Usually, the standard usage of your hearing aid defines the real shelf life. But the potential longevity of your hearing aids is diminished 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 so often, 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 Good Idea to Upgrade Your Hearing Aids Before They Wear Out
There might come a time when, years from now, your hearing aid performance begins to decline. And it will be time, therefore, to start shopping for a new set. But there will be scenarios when it will be practical to buy a more modern hearing aid before your current one shows signs of wear. Here are some of those scenarios:
- Your hearing changes: You should change your hearing aid situation if the condition of your hearing changes. Put simply, your hearing aids will no longer be calibrated to yield the best possible results. If you want an optimal degree of hearing, new hearing aids might be required.
- Changes in technology: Every year, hearing aid manufacturers introduce innovative new technologies that make hearing aids more useful in novel ways. 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: In some circumstances, your first pair of hearing aids might be purchased with a particular lifestyle in mind. But maybe now your lifestyle changes require you to get hearing aids that are more durable or waterproof or rechargeable.
You can see why it’s hard to predict a timetable for updating your hearing aids. Normally, that 2-5 year range is fairly accurate depending on these few variables.