Hearing aids, if you take care of them properly, can last for years. But they’re only practical if they still address your degree of hearing loss. Similar to 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 if 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 need to be swapped out. So finding out that your hearing aids have a shelf life is most likely not very surprising.
2 to 5 years is normally the shelf life for a set of hearing aids, however you might want to replace them sooner with the new technology emerging. There are several possible factors that will impact the shelf life of your hearing aids:
- 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 anticipated despite the fact that hearing aids are manufactured to be ergonomic and durable. Despite quality construction, if you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be impacted.
- Care: This shouldn’t be surprising, but the better you take care of hearing aids, the longer they’ll last. This means making certain your hearing aids are cleaned frequently and undergo any required regular maintenance. You will get added functional time out of your hearing aid in almost direct proportion to time put into care.
- 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 different models.
- Type: There are two primary kinds of hearing aids: inside-the-ear and behind-the-ear. Five years or so will be the expected shelf life of inside-the-ear model hearing aids because of exposure to dirt, sweat, and debris of the ear canal. Because they are able to stay cleaner and dryer, behind the ear models commonly last 6-7 years.
In most cases, the shelf life of your hearing aid is an estimate based on typical usage. But the potential life expectancy of your hearing aids is diminished if they’re not used regularly (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 inspected and cleaned professionally. This helps make certain that there is no wax buildup and that they still fit properly.
It’s a Smart Idea to Upgrade Your Hearing Aids Before They Wear Out
In the future there could come a time when the performance of your hearing aids begins to decline. And it will be time, then, to begin searching for a new pair. But in a few cases, you might find that a new pair will be worthwhile long before your hearing aids begin to show wear and tear. Here are a few of those situations:
- Technology changes: 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.
- Your lifestyle changes: You may, in some cases, have a specific lifestyle in mind when you purchase your hearing aids. But perhaps your circumstances change, maybe you’ve become more active and need a pair that are waterproof, more durable, or rechargeable.
- Your hearing changes: If your hearing gets significantly worse (or better), the dynamics of your hearing assistance change too. Essentially, your hearing aids will no longer be adjusted to yield the best possible results. In these situations, a new hearing aid could be necessary for you to hear optimally.
You can see why the plan for updating your hearing devices is difficult to predict. Usually, that 2-5 year range is fairly accurate dependant upon these few factors.