Hearing Health Blog

Man playing basketball wonders whether he needs new hearing aids to keep up with his active lifestyle.

Hearing aids, if you care for them properly, can last for years. But they stop being useful if they no longer address your degree of hearing loss. As with prescription glasses, your hearing aids are programmed to your specific hearing loss, which needs to be checked regularly. Here’s how long you can anticipate your hearing aids will last assuming they are programed and fitted correctly.

Do Hearing Aids Expire?

There’s a shelf life for pretty any product. It could take a couple of weeks for the milk inside your refrigerator to expire. Canned products can last anywhere from a few 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 probably not shocking, then, that your hearing aids also have a shelf life.

Typically, a set of hearing aids will last anywhere between 2-5 years, though with the technology coming out you might want to replace them sooner. But the shelf life of your hearing aids will be based upon a number of possible factors:

  • Construction: Nowadays, hearing aids are made from many 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 durable and ergonomic. If you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be impacted despite quality construction.
  • Batteries: Internal, rechargeable batteries are standard with the majority of hearing aids in current use. The shelf life of your hearing aid is dramatically impacted by the type 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. Doing regular required upkeep and cleaning is vital. Time put into care will translate almost directly into increased functional time.
  • Type: There are a couple of basic 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. Behind-the-ear models usually last about 6-7 years (mostly because they’re able to stay drier and cleaner).

In most situations, the shelf life of your hearing aid is an estimate determined by typical usage. But the potential life expectancy of your hearing aids is reduced 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 now and then, 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 Smart Idea to Upgrade Your Hearing Aids Before They Wear Out

In the future there might come a time when the efficiency of your hearing aids starts to diminish. Then you will have to shop for a new pair. But there will be situations when it will be practical to purchase a more modern hearing aid before your current one shows signs of wear. Some of those scenarios might include:

  • Changes in lifestyle: In some instances, your first set of hearing aids might be purchased with a certain lifestyle in mind. But maybe your circumstances change, maybe you’ve become more active and you need a set that are waterproof, more heavy-duty, or rechargeable.
  • Changes in your hearing: You need to change your hearing aid situation if the state of your hearing changes. Put simply, your hearing aids will no longer be calibrated to yield the best possible results. In these cases, 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. 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.

You can understand why it’s difficult to estimate a timetable for replacing your hearing aids. How many years your hearing aids will fit your needs depends on a handful of factors, but you can normally count on that 2-5 year range.

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