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Hearing Aids by Tricia Leagjeld - Redmond, OR

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 stop being helpful if they no longer address your degree of hearing loss. As with prescription glasses, your hearing aids are calibrated to your particular hearing loss, which needs to be examined on a regular basis. Here’s how long you can expect your hearing aids to last if they are programed and fitted correctly.

Is There an Expiration Time For Hearing Aids?

There’s a shelf life for nearly any product. With the milk in your refrigerator, that shelf life might be several weeks. Canned goods can last anywhere from a few months to a number of years. Even electronic devices have a shelf life, your brand new high-def TV will most likely have to be upgraded 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 might want to replace them sooner. There are several possible factors that will impact the shelf life of your hearing aids:

  • Construction: These days, hearing aids are made out of all types 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 designed to be durable and ergonomic. If you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be influenced despite quality construction.
  • Type: There are a couple of 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 around 6-7 years (mostly because they’re able to stay cleaner and drier).
  • Batteries: The majority of (but not all) hearing aids currently use internal, rechargeable batteries. The type of battery or power supply your hearing aids use can substantially influence the overall shelf life of various models.
  • Care: It shouldn’t surprise you to know that if you take good care of your hearing aids, they will last longer. Doing regular required maintenance and cleaning is essential. You will get added functional time out of your hearing aid in almost direct proportion to the time you put into care.

Generally, the typical usage of your hearing aid defines the exact shelf life. But the potential life expectancy of your hearing aids is reduced 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).

And every so often, hearing aids should be inspected and cleaned professionally. This helps make certain they still fit properly 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 Out

Years from now there could come a time when the functionality of your hearing aids begins to decline. Then you will have to shop for a new set. But in a few cases, you might find a new pair practical well before your hearing aids start to show wear and tear. Some of those scenarios could include:

  • Your lifestyle changes: You could, in some cases, have a specific lifestyle in mind when you purchase your hearing aids. 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 your hearing: If your hearing gets considerably worse (or better), the dynamics of your hearing aids change too. Your hearing aids may no longer be calibrated to successfully manage your hearing problem. In these cases, a new hearing aid might be required for you to hear optimally.
  • 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.

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

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