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Man playing basketball wonders whether he needs new hearing aids to keep up with his active lifestyle.

If you care for them, hearing aids can keep working for years. But they quit being practical if they no longer address your level of hearing loss. Your hearing aids are calibrated to your distinct level of hearing loss and similar to prescription glasses, need to be updated if your situation worsens. If they are programmed and fitted properly, here’s how long you can anticipate they will last.

Do Hearing Aids Expire?

There’s a shelf life for pretty much any product. With the milk in your refrigerator, that shelf life might be a few weeks. A few months to several years is the shelf life of canned products. Within the next few years or so, even your new high-def TV will have to be swapped out. It’s certainly not surprising, then, that your hearing aids also have a shelf life.

Normally, a pair of hearing aids will last anywhere between 2-5 years, though with the technology coming out you may want to upgrade sooner. There are several possible factors that will effect the shelf life of your hearing aids:

  • Care: It shouldn’t surprise you to know 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 required regular maintenance. Time put into care will translate almost directly into added operational time.
  • Construction: Materials like nano-coated plastics, silicon, and metal are used to build modern hearing aids. Some wear-and-tear can be anticipated in spite of 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.
  • Type: There are two basic types of hearing aids: inside-the-ear and behind-the-ear. Five years or so will be the expected shelf life of inside-the-ear model hearing aids because of exposure to dirt, sweat, and debris of the ear canal. Behind-the-ear models usually last about 6-7 years (mainly because they’re able to stay drier and cleaner).
  • Batteries: Rechargeable, internal batteries are standard with the majority of hearing aids in current use. The type of battery or power supply your hearing aids use can substantially influence the overall shelf life of different models.

Generally, the standard usage of your hearing aid determines the real shelf life. But the potential life expectancy of your hearing aids is lessened if they’re not worn on a regular basis (leaving them unmaintained in a humid drawer, for example, may very well reduce the life expectancy of your hearing devices, specifically if you leave the battery in place).

Hearing aids should also be inspected and professionally cleaned every so often. This helps make sure they still fit properly and don’t have a build-up of wax impeding their ability to work.

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

There could come a time when, years from now, your hearing aid performance starts to decline. Then you will need to look for a new pair. But in some cases, you may find that a new pair will be beneficial long before your hearing aids begin to show their age. Here are some of those scenarios:

  • Changes in your hearing: You need to change your hearing aid situation if the condition of your hearing changes. Your hearing aids might no longer be calibrated to efficiently deal with your hearing issue. If you want an optimal level of hearing, new hearing aids could be needed.
  • Technology changes: 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 lifestyle changes: In many cases, your first set of hearing aids may be obtained with a particular lifestyle in mind. But maybe your circumstances change, maybe you’ve become more physically active and need a set that are waterproof, more heavy-duty, or rechargeable.

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

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