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

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

Is There an Expiration Time For Hearing Aids?

Almost everything you buy has a shelf life. With the milk in your refrigerator, that shelf life may be several weeks. Canned products can last between several months to a number of years. Even electronic devices have a shelf life, your brand new high-def TV will probably have to be upgraded some time within the next few years. So discovering that your hearing aids have a shelf life is probably not very shocking.

2 to 5 years is typically the shelf life for a pair of hearing aids, however you may want to upgrade sooner with the new technology emerging. But the shelf life of your hearing aids will be based upon a number of possible factors:

  • Care: This should come as no surprise, but the better care you take of your hearing aids, the longer they’ll last. Doing standard required maintenance and cleaning is vital. You will get added functional 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 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.
  • Type: There are two primary types 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 due to exposure to debris, sweat, and dirt of the ear canal. Behind-the-ear models normally last around 6-7 years (mostly because they’re able to stay cleaner and drier).
  • Batteries: Most (but not all) hearing aids currently use rechargeable, internal batteries. The kind of battery or power supply your hearing aids use can substantially impact the total shelf life of various models.

In most situations, the shelf life of your hearing aid is an estimate determined by typical usage. But failing to wear your hearing aids might also reduce their projected usefulness (putting them unmaintained on a dusty shelf, as an example, could very well curtail the life expectancy of your hearing devices, specifically if you leave the battery in place).

Hearing aids should also be inspected and professionally cleaned every so often. This helps make sure they still fit properly and don’t have a build-up of wax blocking their ability to work.

Updating Hearing Aids Before They Wear Out

There might come a time when, down the road, your hearing aid effectiveness starts to wane. And it will be time, then, to start looking around for a new pair. But there will be scenarios when it will be beneficial to purchase a more modern hearing aid before your current one shows signs of wear. Some of those situations might include:

  • Your lifestyle changes: You might, in many cases, have a certain lifestyle in mind when you purchase your hearing aids. But maybe your conditions change, maybe you’ve become more active and you need a pair that are waterproof, more heavy-duty, or rechargeable.
  • 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 your hearing: You need to change your hearing aid circumstance if the state 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 level of hearing, new hearing aids could be needed.

You can understand why it’s hard to estimate a timetable for updating your hearing aids. Generally, that 2-5 year range is pretty accurate depending on these few factors.

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