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 keep working for years. But they quit being helpful if they no longer treat your degree of hearing loss. Similar to prescription glasses, your hearing aids are programmed to your specific hearing loss, which should be examined regularly. Here’s how long you can expect your hearing aids to last assuming they are programed and fitted correctly.

Do Hearing Aids Expire?

There’s a shelf life for pretty any product. 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 need to be swapped out. It’s probably not surprising, then, that your hearing aids also have a shelf life.

2 to 5 years is normally the shelf life for a set of hearing aids, though 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:

  • 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 sure your hearing aids are cleaned on a regular basis and undergo any necessary regular maintenance. Time put into proper care will translate almost directly into increased functional time.
  • Type: There are a couple of primary types 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 as a result of exposure to dirt, sweat, and debris of the ear canal. Because they are able to stay cleaner and dryer, behind the ear models commonly last 6-7 years.
  • Construction: Nowadays, hearing aids are constructed from many kinds of materials, from silicon to metal to nano-coated plastics, and so on. Some wear-and-tear can be expected despite the fact that hearing aids are manufactured to be ergonomic and durable. If you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be affected despite quality construction.
  • Batteries: Rechargeable, internal batteries are standard with the majority of hearing aids in current use. The shelf life of your hearing aid is dramatically influenced by the kind of batteries they use.

Normally, the typical usage of your hearing aid defines the exact 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 examined and cleaned professionally. This helps make certain that there is no wax buildup and that they still fit properly.

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

There might come a time when, years from now, your hearing aid effectiveness begins to wane. And it will be time, therefore, to begin searching for a new pair. But in some cases, you may find that a new pair will be practical well before your hearing aids begin to show their age. Some of those situations might include:

  • Your hearing fluctuates: You should change your hearing aid circumstance if the state of your hearing changes. In other words, your hearing aids will no longer be adjusted to yield the best possible results. If you want an optimal level of hearing, new hearing aids might 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.
  • Your lifestyle changes: In some circumstances, 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 you need a pair that are waterproof, more durable, or rechargeable.

You can see why it’s difficult to predict a timetable for updating your hearing aids. Normally, that 2-5 year range is fairly accurate depending on these few variables.

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