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 properly, can keep working for years. But they quit being practical if they no longer address your degree of hearing loss. Similar to prescription glasses, your hearing aids are calibrated to your specific hearing loss, which needs to be tested on a regular basis. Assuming they are fitted and programmed correctly, here’s how long you can anticipate they will last.

Is There an Expiration Time For Hearing Aids?

There’s a shelf life for almost any product. With the milk in your fridge, that shelf life might be several weeks. A few months to several years is the shelf life of canned goods. Even electronics have a shelf life, your brand new high-def TV will likely need to be upgraded some time in the next few years. So discovering that your hearing aids have a shelf life is probably not very surprising.

2 to 5 years is normally the shelf life for a pair of hearing aids, however you may want to replace them sooner with the new technology emerging. There are a number of possible factors that will effect the shelf life of your hearing aids:

  • Batteries: The majority of (but not all) hearing aids currently use rechargeable, internal batteries. The kind of battery or power supply your hearing aids use can dramatically influence the total shelf life of various models.
  • Care: This shouldn’t be surprising, but the better you take care of hearing aids, the longer they’ll last. Carrying out regular required upkeep and cleaning is vital. You will get added functional time out of your hearing aid in almost direct proportion to the time you put into care.
  • Construction: Today, hearing aids are constructed from many types of materials, from silicon to metal to nano-coated plastics, and so on. The devices are created to be ergonomic and durable, but some materials do experience wear-and-tear along the way. Despite quality construction, if you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be affected.
  • Type: There are a couple of primary kinds 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 commonly have a shelf life of about five years. Behind-the-ear models typically last around 6-7 years (mainly because they’re able to stay cleaner and drier).

Usually, the typical usage of your hearing aid defines the actual shelf life. But the potential life expectancy of your hearing aids is diminished if they’re not worn regularly (putting them unmaintained on a dusty shelf, for example, may very well curtail the life expectancy of your hearing devices, especially if you leave the battery in).

Hearing aids should also be inspected and professionally cleaned every now and then. This helps make certain that there is no wax buildup and that they still fit properly.

It’s a Good Idea to Upgrade Your Hearing Aids Before They Wear Out

There could come a time when, down the road, your hearing aid functionality begins to wane. Then you will have to look for a new pair. But in some cases, you might find a new pair advantageous long before your hearing aids begin to show their age. Here are a few of those situations:

  • Technology changes: Every year, hearing aid manufacturers introduce innovative new technologies that make hearing aids more useful in novel ways. 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.
  • Your hearing fluctuates: You need to change your hearing aid scenario if the state of your hearing changes. Your hearing aids could no longer be adjusted to successfully deal with your hearing problem. If you want an optimal level of hearing, new hearing aids may be needed.
  • Changes in lifestyle: You may, in many cases, have a specific lifestyle in mind when you purchase your hearing aids. But maybe your conditions change, maybe you’ve become more active and need a set that are waterproof, more heavy-duty, or rechargeable.

You can understand why it’s hard to predict a timetable for replacing your hearing aids. How many years your hearing aids will fit your needs depends on a handful of factors, but you can normally count on that 2-5 year range.

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