HEARING TIPS

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 last for years. But they’re only useful if they still address your level of hearing loss. Similar to prescription glasses, your hearing aids are calibrated to your particular hearing loss, which should be examined regularly. Assuming they are programmed and fitted properly, here’s how long you can expect them to last.

Do Hearing Aids Expire?

Almost everything you purchase has a shelf life. 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 several years. Even electronics have a shelf life, your brand new high-def TV will likely have to be upgraded some time in the next few years. It’s certainly not surprising, then, that your hearing aids also have a shelf life.

In general, a pair of hearing aids will last anywhere between 2-5 years, though with the technology emerging you might want to upgrade sooner. But the shelf life of your hearing aids will depend on several possible factors:

  • Batteries: Internal, rechargeable batteries are standard with the majority of hearing aids in current use. The shelf life of your hearing aid is considerably influenced by the kind of batteries they use.
  • Construction: Materials like nano-coated plastics, silicon, and metal are used to produce modern hearing aids. Some wear-and-tear can be expected despite the fact that hearing aids are designed to be ergonomic and durable. If you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be affected despite quality construction.
  • Type: There are two basic 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 tend to have a shelf life of around five years. Because they are able to stay dryer and cleaner, behind the ear models normally last 6-7 years.
  • 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 ensuring your hearing aids are cleaned regularly and have any required regular maintenance. Time put into proper care will translate almost directly into added operational time.

Usually, the typical usage of your hearing aid determines the real shelf life. But the potential life expectancy of your hearing aids is reduced if they’re not worn regularly (putting them unmaintained on a dusty shelf, as an example, may very well curtail the life expectancy of your hearing devices, specifically if you leave the battery in place).

And every so often, hearing aids should be inspected and cleaned professionally. This helps make sure 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 Down

Years from now there might come a time when the performance of your hearing aids begins to decline. Then you will have to look for a new set. But in a few cases, you may find a new pair beneficial well before your hearing aids start to show wear and tear. Here are some of those situations:

  • Your lifestyle changes: In many circumstances, your first pair of hearing aids might be obtained with a particular lifestyle in mind. But maybe now your lifestyle changes require you to get hearing aids that are more durable or waterproof or rechargeable.
  • 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 changes: If your hearing gets considerably worse (or better), the characteristics of your hearing assistance change too. Put simply, 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 needed.

You can understand why it’s difficult to predict a timetable for replacing your hearing aids. Usually, that 2-5 year range is pretty accurate contingent upon these few variables.

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