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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 correctly, can keep working for years. But they stop being practical if they no longer treat your degree of hearing loss. Your hearing aids are calibrated to your distinct level of hearing loss and much like prescription glasses, should be upgraded if your condition gets worse. Assuming they are programmed and fitted correctly, here’s how long you can expect them to 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 may be a few weeks. Canned products can last anywhere from a few months to several years. Even electronic devices have a shelf life, your brand new high-def TV will likely have to be swapped out some time within the next five years or so. It’s certainly not surprising, then, that your hearing aids also have a shelf life.

2 to 5 years is generally the shelf life for a set of hearing aids, however you may want to upgrade sooner with the new technology coming out. There are a number of possible factors that will effect the shelf life of your hearing aids:

  • Type: There are a couple of primary kinds 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 dirt, sweat, and debris of the ear canal. Because they are able to stay dryer and cleaner, behind the ear models usually last 6-7 years.
  • Construction: These days, hearing aids are made out of all kinds of materials, from silicon to metal to nano-coated plastics, and so on. Some wear-and-tear can be anticipated 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 influenced despite quality construction.
  • Care: It shouldn’t be surprising to find out that if you take good care of your hearing aids, they will last longer. Carrying out regular required maintenance and cleaning is indispensable. Time put into proper care will translate almost directly into increased operational time.
  • Batteries: Rechargeable, internal batteries are standard with the majority of hearing aids in current use. The kind of battery or power supply your hearing aids use can significantly impact the overall shelf life of different models.

Usually, the standard usage of your hearing aid determines the actual shelf life. But failing to wear your hearing aids could also minimize their projected usefulness (leaving them unmaintained in a humid drawer, as an example, may very well curtail the life expectancy of your hearing devices, specifically if you leave the battery in).

And every now and then, hearing aids should be checked and cleaned professionally. This helps make certain that there is no wax buildup and that they still fit correctly.

It’s a Good Idea to Replace Your Hearing Aids Before They Wear Down

In the future there may come a time when the functionality of your hearing aids begins to decline. Then you will have to look for a new set. But there will be situations when it will be practical to purchase a more modern hearing aid before your current one shows signs of wear. Some of those scenarios could include:

  • Changes in lifestyle: You may, in many cases, have a specific lifestyle in mind when you purchase your hearing aids. But maybe now your lifestyle changes require you to get hearing aids that are more durable or waterproof or rechargeable.
  • Your hearing fluctuates: If your hearing gets significantly worse (or better), the characteristics of your hearing aids change also. Essentially, 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 required.
  • Changes in technology: 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.

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

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