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 quit being useful if they no longer treat your degree of hearing loss. Your hearing aids are dialed into your distinct level of hearing loss and much like prescription glasses, should be updated if your situation gets worse. Here’s how long you can expect your hearing aids to last if they are fitted and programmed correctly.

Is There an Expiration Time For Hearing Aids?

Just about everything you buy has a shelf life. With the milk in your refrigerator, that shelf life may be several weeks. Several months to several years is the shelf life of canned goods. Within the next few years or so, even your new high-def TV will have to be swapped out. So learning that your hearing aids have a shelf life is most likely not very surprising.

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

  • Construction: Materials such as nano-coated plastics, silicon, and metal are used to build modern hearing aids. Some wear-and-tear can be expected despite the fact that hearing aids are designed to be durable and ergonomic. In spite of premium construction, if you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be affected.
  • Care: It shouldn’t be surprising 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 frequently and have any necessary regular maintenance. Time put into proper care will translate almost directly into added operational time.
  • Batteries: Rechargeable, internal batteries are standard with the majority of hearing aids in current use. The shelf life of your hearing aid is substantially influenced by the type of batteries they use.
  • Type: There are a couple of basic 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 remain cleaner and dryer, behind the ear models normally last 6-7 years.

In most circumstances, the shelf life of your hearing aid is an estimate determined by typical usage. But neglecting to wear your hearing aids could also reduce their estimated usefulness (leaving them unmaintained on a dusty shelf, for example, could very well reduce the lifespan of your hearing devices, especially if you leave the battery in).

And every so often, hearing aids should be inspected and cleaned professionally. This helps make sure they still fit correctly and don’t have a build-up of wax blocking their ability to function.

It’s a Smart Idea to Switch Out Your Hearing Aids Before They Wear Down

Years from now there might come a time when the functionality of your hearing aids starts to diminish. And it will be time, therefore, to start shopping for a new pair. But there will be scenarios when it will be beneficial to purchase a more modern hearing aid before your current one shows signs of wear. Here are some of those scenarios:

  • Changes in lifestyle: In many instances, your first set of hearing aids may be obtained with a certain lifestyle in mind. But maybe now your lifestyle changes require you to get hearing aids that are more durable or waterproof or rechargeable.
  • Changes in technology: Every year, hearing aid manufacturers introduce innovative new technologies that make hearing aids more useful in novel ways. 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.
  • Your hearing changes: You should 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 benefits. If you want an optimal level of hearing, new hearing aids could be needed.

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

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