Hearing aids, if you take care of them correctly, can last for years. But they stop being useful if they no longer address your degree of hearing loss. Your hearing aids are calibrated to your particular level of hearing loss and comparable to prescription glasses, need to be upgraded if your situation gets worse. Assuming they are programmed and fitted correctly, here’s how long you can anticipate they will last.
Is There an Expiration Time For Hearing Aids?
There’s a shelf life for pretty any product. It could take a couple of weeks for the milk in your fridge to expire. Several months to several years is the shelf life of canned products. Even electronics have a shelf life, your brand new high-def TV will most likely need to be upgraded some time in the next five years or so. It’s certainly not shocking, then, that your hearing aids also have a shelf life.
2 to 5 years is normally the shelf life for a set 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 depend on a number of possible factors:
- Batteries: Internal, rechargeable batteries are standard with the majority of hearing aids in current use. The type of battery or power supply your hearing aids use can dramatically impact the overall shelf life of different models.
- Construction: Materials like nano-coated plastics, silicon, and metal are used to produce modern hearing aids. Some wear-and-tear can be expected in spite of 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 influenced regardless of quality construction.
- Type: There are two basic kinds of hearing aids: inside-the-ear and behind-the-ear. Five years or so will be the estimated shelf life of inside-the-ear model hearing aids because of exposure to debris, sweat, and dirt of the ear canal. Behind-the-ear models typically last about 6-7 years (mostly because they’re able to stay drier and cleaner).
- Care: It shouldn’t be surprising to know that if you care for your hearing aids, they will last longer. Doing standard required maintenance and cleaning is indispensable. You will get added functional time out of your hearing aid in almost direct proportion to time put into care.
Generally, the typical usage of your hearing aid determines the real shelf life. But the potential longevity of your hearing aids is diminished if they’re not worn 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 they still fit properly and don’t have a build-up of wax impeding their ability to function.
It’s a Smart Idea to Switch Out Your Hearing Aids Before They Wear Out
In the future there may come a time when the performance of your hearing aids starts to decline. Then you will need to shop for a new pair. But there will be scenarios when it will be practical to purchase a more modern hearing aid before your current one shows signs of wear. Some of those scenarios could include:
- Your lifestyle changes: In some cases, your first set of hearing aids might be purchased with a particular lifestyle in mind. But perhaps your conditions change, maybe you’ve become more active and you need a set that are waterproof, more heavy-duty, or rechargeable.
- Changes in your hearing: If your hearing gets significantly worse (or better), the dynamics of your hearing aids change also. Your hearing aids may no longer be adjusted to efficiently treat your hearing problem. In these cases, a new hearing aid may 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 predict a timetable for updating your hearing aids. Usually, that 2-5 year range is pretty accurate depending on these few variables.