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

If you care for them, hearing aids can last for years. But they’re only practical if they still reflect your level of hearing loss. Your hearing aids are dialed into your specific level of hearing loss and comparable to prescription glasses, should be upgraded if your situation worsens. If they are fitted and programmed correctly, here’s how long you can anticipate they will last.

Do Hearing Aids Expire?

There’s a shelf life for nearly any product. It could take a couple of weeks for the milk in your refrigerator to expire. 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. It’s probably not surprising, then, that your hearing aids also have a shelf life.

Generally, a pair of hearing aids will last approximately 2-5 years, though with the technology emerging you may want to replace them sooner. There are several possible factors that will effect the shelf life of your hearing aids:

  • Care: It shouldn’t surprise you to find out that if you take good care of your hearing aids, they will last longer. This means making sure your hearing aids are cleaned on a regular basis and go through any required regular upkeep. Time put into proper care will translate almost directly into added operational time.
  • Construction: Materials like nano-coated plastics, silicon, and metal are used to produce modern hearing aids. The devices are created to be ergonomic and durable, but some materials do experience wear-and-tear along the way. If you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be impacted despite quality construction.
  • Batteries: Internal, rechargeable batteries are standard with the majority of hearing aids in current use. The kind of battery or power supply your hearing aids use can dramatically influence the total shelf life of various models.
  • Type: There are two primary kinds of hearing aids: inside-the-ear and behind-the-ear. Because they are exposed 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 about 6-7 years (mostly because they’re able to stay drier and cleaner).

In most cases, the shelf life of your hearing aid is an estimation based on typical usage. But the potential life expectancy of your hearing aids is diminished if they’re not used on a regular basis (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.

Replacing Hearing Aids Before They Wear Out

In the future there could come a time when the functionality of your hearing aids begins to diminish. Then you will need to look for a new set. But in certain cases, you might find a new pair worthwhile long before your hearing aids begin to show their age. Here are some of those scenarios:

  • Your hearing fluctuates: If your hearing gets substantially worse (or better), the characteristics of your hearing assistance change also. Your hearing aids might no longer be adjusted to efficiently deal with your hearing issue. If you want an optimal degree of hearing, new hearing aids might be required.
  • Changes in technology: 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.
  • Your lifestyle changes: You may, in some cases, have a specific lifestyle in mind when you purchase your hearing aids. But maybe your conditions change, maybe you’ve become more physically active and need a pair that are waterproof, more heavy-duty, or rechargeable.

You can see why the timetable for replacing your hearing devices is difficult to predict. How many years your hearing aids will last depends on a handful of variables, but you can normally count on that 2-5 year range.

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