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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 care for them properly, can last for years. But they quit being useful if they no longer address your level of hearing loss. Your hearing aids are calibrated to your particular level of hearing loss and much like prescription glasses, should be upgraded if your situation worsens. If they are fitted and programmed properly, here’s how long you can expect them to last.

Is There an Expiration Time For Hearing Aids?

Almost everything you buy has a shelf life. It could take a couple of weeks for the milk inside your refrigerator to expire. Several months to several years is the shelf life of canned goods. Even electronic devices have a shelf life, your brand new high-def TV will probably need to be upgraded some time within the next five years or so. So discovering 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 replace them sooner with the new technology coming out. But the shelf life of your hearing aids will be based upon a number of possible factors:

  • Care: It shouldn’t be surprising to find out that if you care for your hearing aids, they will last longer. Performing standard required upkeep and cleaning is essential. Time put into care will translate almost directly into added operational time.
  • Batteries: Most (but not all) hearing aids currently use rechargeable, internal batteries. The shelf life of your hearing aid is significantly influenced by the kind of batteries they use.
  • Type: There are a couple of basic types of hearing aids: inside-the-ear and behind-the-ear. Because they are subjected to the sweat, dirt, and debris of the ear canal, inside-the-ear models tend to have a shelf life of around five years. Because they are able to remain dryer and cleaner, behind the ear models normally last 6-7 years.
  • 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 manufactured to be durable and ergonomic. Despite premium construction, if you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be affected.

In most situations, the shelf life of your hearing aid is an approximation determined by typical usage. But the potential life expectancy of your hearing aids is reduced if they’re not used on a regular basis (putting them unmaintained on a dusty shelf, for example, could very well reduce the life expectancy of your hearing devices, particularly if you leave the battery in).

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

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

Years from now there may come a time when the functionality of your hearing aids starts to diminish. And it will be time, then, to start looking around for a new set. But in some cases, you might find that a new pair will be practical long before your hearing aids start to show wear and tear. Here are some of those scenarios:

  • Your hearing changes: If your hearing gets significantly worse (or better), the characteristics of your hearing assistance change also. Put simply, 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 may be required.
  • Changes in technology: Hearing aids are becoming more useful in novel ways every year. 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.
  • Changes in lifestyle: In many cases, your first pair of hearing aids might be obtained with a particular lifestyle in mind. But maybe your conditions change, maybe you’ve become more physically active and need a set that are waterproof, more rugged, or rechargeable.

You can understand why it’s hard to estimate a timetable for updating your hearing aids. Normally, that 2-5 year range is fairly accurate contingent upon these few variables.

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