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

Hearing aids, if you care for them correctly, can keep working for years. But they’re only useful if they still address your degree of hearing loss. As with prescription glasses, your hearing aids are calibrated to your particular 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 properly.

Do Hearing Aids Expire?

There’s a shelf life for pretty any product. With the milk in your refrigerator, that shelf life might be several weeks. Several months to several years is the shelf life of canned goods. Even electronics have a shelf life, your brand new high-def TV will likely need to be swapped out some time in the next few years. So discovering that your hearing aids have a shelf life is most likely not very shocking.

In general, a set of hearing aids will last approximately 2-5 years, although with the technology emerging you may want to upgrade sooner. 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. Five years or so will be the expected shelf life of inside-the-ear model hearing aids as a result of exposure to dirt, sweat, and debris of the ear canal. Behind-the-ear models normally last about 6-7 years (mainly because they’re able to stay drier and cleaner).
  • Batteries: Most (but not all) hearing aids currently use rechargeable, internal batteries. The shelf life of your hearing aid is substantially influenced by the type of batteries they use.
  • Construction: Nowadays, hearing aids are constructed from all kinds 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. In spite of premium construction, if you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be impacted.
  • Care: This should come as no surprise, but the better you take care of hearing aids, the longer they will last. Performing regular required upkeep and cleaning is essential. Time put into proper care will translate almost directly into increased operational time.

Normally, the standard usage of your hearing aid defines the exact shelf life. But neglecting to wear your hearing aids might also minimize their expected usefulness (leaving your hearing aids neglected on a shelf and unmaintained can also diminish the lifespan of your hearing aids).

Hearing aids should also be checked and professionally cleaned every now and then. This helps make certain they still fit correctly and don’t have a build-up of wax impeding their ability to function.

It’s a Smart Idea to Replace Your Hearing Aids Before They Wear Down

In the future there could come a time when the performance of your hearing aids starts to decline. Then you will need to look for a new pair. But in some situations, you might find that a new pair will be worthwhile long before your hearing aids begin to show their age. Here are some of those situations:

  • 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: You could, in many cases, have a specific lifestyle in mind when you purchase your hearing aids. But perhaps your circumstances change, maybe you’ve become more physically 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 scenario if the state of your hearing changes. Put simply, your hearing aids will no longer be adjusted to yield the best possible benefits. If you want an optimal level of hearing, new hearing aids may be required.

You can see why the plan for replacing your hearing aid is difficult to predict. Normally, that 2-5 year range is fairly accurate dependant upon these few variables.

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