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

Hearing aids, if you take care of them correctly, can last for years. But they are only practical if they still address your degree of hearing loss. Your hearing aids are dialed into your distinct level of hearing loss and comparable to prescription glasses, need to be upgraded if your situation worsens. Here’s how long you can expect your hearing aids to last assuming they are programed and fitted properly.

Do Hearing Aids Expire?

There’s a shelf life for pretty much any product. With the milk in your refrigerator, that shelf life may be several weeks. 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. So discovering that your hearing aids have a shelf life is most likely not very surprising.

2 to 5 years is typically the shelf life for a pair of hearing aids, though you might want to replace them sooner with the new technology coming out. But the shelf life of your hearing aids will be determined by several possible factors:

  • Batteries: The majority of (but not all) hearing aids presently use internal, rechargeable batteries. The shelf life of your hearing aid is considerably impacted by the kind of batteries they use.
  • Care: It shouldn’t surprise you to know that if you take good care of your hearing aids, they will last longer. This means ensuring your hearing aids are cleaned frequently and go through any necessary regular upkeep. Time put into care will translate almost directly into increased operational time.
  • Type: There are a couple of basic types of hearing aids: inside-the-ear and behind-the-ear. Because they are subjected to the debris, sweat, and dirt of the ear canal, inside-the-ear models normally have a shelf life of about five years. Behind-the-ear models normally last about 6-7 years (largely because they’re able to stay drier and cleaner).
  • Construction: These days, hearing aids are made from many kinds of materials, from silicon to metal to nano-coated plastics, and so on. Some wear-and-tear can be expected in spite of the fact that hearing aids are designed to be durable and ergonomic. If you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be affected regardless of quality construction.

Normally, the standard usage of your hearing aid determines the real shelf life. But neglecting to wear your hearing aids may also reduce their projected 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 sure they still fit properly and don’t have a build-up of wax impeding their ability to work.

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

There may come a time when, years from now, your hearing aid effectiveness starts to decline. Then you will have to look for a new set. But there will be scenarios when it will be advantageous to purchase a more modern hearing aid before your current one shows signs of wear. Here are some of those situations:

  • Technology changes: Every year, hearing aid manufacturers introduce innovative new technologies that make hearing aids more useful in novel ways. 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 may, in many cases, have a particular lifestyle in mind when you purchase your hearing aids. But perhaps your circumstances change, maybe you’ve become more physically active and need a pair that are waterproof, more durable, or rechargeable.
  • Changes in your hearing: You should change your hearing aid scenario if the state of your hearing changes. Your hearing aids might no longer be calibrated to successfully deal with your hearing problem. In these situations, a new hearing aid may be imperative for you to hear optimally.

You can see why it’s hard to predict a timetable for replacing your hearing aids. Normally, that 2-5 year range is pretty accurate dependant upon these few factors.

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