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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 last for years. But they are only helpful if they still address your level of hearing loss. Your hearing aids are dialed into your specific level of hearing loss and comparable to prescription glasses, need to be upgraded if your condition gets worse. 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?

Nearly everything you purchase has a shelf life. With the milk in your fridge, that shelf life may be a few weeks. Canned goods can last between a few months to a number of years. Within the next few years or so, even your new high-def TV will need to be swapped out. It’s probably not shocking, then, that your hearing aids also have a shelf life.

2 to 5 years is typically the shelf life for a pair of hearing aids, though you might 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:

  • 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 certain your hearing aids are cleaned regularly and undergo any necessary regular upkeep. Time put into care will translate almost directly into increased operational time.
  • Type: There are a couple of primary kinds of hearing aids: inside-the-ear and behind-the-ear. Because they are subjected to the sweat, dirt, and debris from the ear canal, inside-the-ear models normally have a shelf life of about five years. Because they are able to stay cleaner and dryer, behind the ear models usually last 6-7 years.
  • Batteries: Most (but not all) hearing aids presently use rechargeable, internal batteries. The type of battery or power supply your hearing aids use can dramatically impact the overall shelf life of various models.
  • Construction: Materials such as nano-coated plastics, silicon, and metal are used to build modern hearing aids. 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 affected regardless of quality construction.

Normally, the typical usage of your hearing aid defines the actual shelf life. But the potential life expectancy of your hearing aids is reduced if they’re not used regularly (leaving your hearing aids neglected on a shelf and unmaintained can also diminish the lifespan of your hearing aids).

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

Updating Hearing Aids Before They Wear Out

Years from now there might come a time when the efficiency of your hearing aids begins to diminish. And it will be time, therefore, to begin looking for a new pair. But in some cases, you may find a new pair beneficial well before your hearing aids start to show wear and tear. Here are a few of those scenarios:

  • Changes in lifestyle: In some cases, your first set of hearing aids may be purchased with a certain lifestyle in mind. But perhaps your conditions change, maybe you’ve become more active and you need a pair that are waterproof, more rugged, or rechargeable.
  • Your hearing fluctuates: You need to change your hearing aid situation if the state of your hearing changes. Put simply, your hearing aids will no longer be adjusted to yield the best possible results. In these situations, a new hearing aid might be imperative for you to hear optimally.
  • Technology changes: 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.

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

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