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

If you take good care of them, hearing aids can keep working for years. But they quit being useful if they no longer address your level of hearing loss. As with prescription glasses, your hearing aids are calibrated to your particular hearing loss, which needs to be examined regularly. Here’s how long you can anticipate your hearing aids will last if they are fitted and programmed correctly.

Is There an Expiration Time For Hearing Aids?

There’s a shelf life for pretty much any product. It could take a couple of weeks for the milk in your refrigerator to expire. Canned products can last between several 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 learning that your hearing aids have a shelf life is most likely not very shocking.

Typically, a set of hearing aids will last anywhere between 2-5 years, although with the technology emerging you may want to replace them sooner. But the shelf life of your hearing aids will depend on several possible factors:

  • Batteries: Rechargeable, internal batteries are standard with most hearing aids in current use. The shelf life of your hearing aid is dramatically influenced by the kind of batteries they use.
  • Type: There are two primary types of hearing aids: inside-the-ear and behind-the-ear. Because they are subjected to the debris, sweat, and dirt from the ear canal, inside-the-ear models commonly have a shelf life of about five years. Behind-the-ear models usually last around 6-7 years (mainly because they’re able to stay drier and cleaner).
  • Care: It shouldn’t surprise you to know that if you care for your hearing aids, they will last longer. This means ensuring your hearing aids are cleaned on a regular basis and go through any necessary regular upkeep. You will get added operational time out of your hearing aid in almost direct proportion to time put into care.
  • Construction: Materials like nano-coated plastics, silicon, and metal are used to produce modern hearing aids. Some wear-and-tear can be anticipated despite 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 despite quality construction.

In most circumstances, the shelf life of your hearing aid is an estimation based on typical usage. But the potential longevity 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).

Hearing aids should also be checked and professionally cleaned every now and then. 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 Down

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

  • Changes in lifestyle: In some cases, your first set of hearing aids might be purchased with a particular lifestyle in mind. But maybe your circumstances change, maybe you’ve become more active and you need a set that are waterproof, more rugged, or rechargeable.
  • Changes in technology: Hearing aids are becoming more useful in novel ways every year. If one of these cutting edge technologies looks like it’s going to help you significantly, it could be worth investing in a new pair of devices sooner rather than later.
  • Changes in your hearing: If your hearing gets considerably worse (or better), the dynamics of your hearing assistance change also. Essentially, your hearing aids will no longer be calibrated to yield the best possible benefits. If you want an optimal degree of hearing, new hearing aids might be required.

You can see why it’s difficult to predict a timetable for updating your hearing aids. How many years your hearing aids will last depends on a handful of variables, but you can usually count on that 2-5 year range.

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