If you care for them, hearing aids can keep working for years. But they stop being useful if they no longer address your level of hearing loss. Similar to prescription glasses, your hearing aids are calibrated to your particular hearing loss, which should be checked regularly. If they are fitted and programmed properly, here’s how long you can anticipate they will last.
Is There an Expiration Time For Hearing Aids?
There’s a shelf life for nearly 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 goods. Within the next few years or so, even your new high-def TV will have to be swapped out. So learning that your hearing aids have a shelf life is probably not very surprising.
2 to 5 years is normally the shelf life for a pair of hearing aids, although 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:
- Type: There are two basic kinds of hearing aids: inside-the-ear and behind-the-ear. Because they are subjected to the sweat, dirt, and debris 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 (largely because they’re able to stay cleaner and drier).
- Care: This should come as no surprise, but the better you take care of hearing aids, the longer they will last. Doing standard required maintenance and cleaning is essential. Time put into proper care will translate almost directly into increased functional time.
- Construction: Materials like nano-coated plastics, silicon, and metal are used to produce modern hearing aids. Some wear-and-tear can be expected despite the fact that hearing aids are manufactured to be durable and ergonomic. Despite premium construction, if you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be impacted.
- Batteries: Rechargeable, internal batteries are standard with most hearing aids in current use. The shelf life of your hearing aid is considerably influenced by the kind of batteries they use.
In most situations, the shelf life of your hearing aid is an approximation determined by typical usage. But the potential life expectancy of your hearing aids is lessened if they’re not worn regularly (leaving them unmaintained on a dusty shelf, as an example, could very well curtail the life expectancy of your hearing devices, especially if you leave the battery in place).
And every now and then, hearing aids should be checked and cleaned professionally. This helps make sure that there is no wax buildup and that they still fit correctly.
Updating Hearing Aids Before They Wear Down
In the future there could come a time when the functionality of your hearing aids starts to diminish. And it will be time, then, to start looking 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. Here are some of those situations:
- Your hearing fluctuates: You should change your hearing aid circumstance 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 may be needed.
- Technology changes: 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.
- Changes in lifestyle: In many circumstances, your first pair of hearing aids may be obtained with a certain 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 the timetable for updating your hearing devices is difficult to predict. How many years your hearing aids will last depends on a handful of variables, but you can generally count on that 2-5 year range.