HEARING TIPS

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 properly, can keep working for years. But they stop being practical if they no longer treat your level of hearing loss. As with prescription glasses, your hearing aids are programmed to your particular hearing loss, which should be examined on a regular basis. Here’s how long you can anticipate your hearing aids will last if they are fitted and programmed correctly.

Is There an Expiration Time For Hearing Aids?

There’s a shelf life for almost any product. It could take a couple of weeks for the milk in your fridge 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 most likely need to be upgraded some time within the next five years or so. So finding out that your hearing aids have a shelf life is probably not very surprising.

Typically, a pair of hearing aids will last anywhere between 2-5 years, though with the technology emerging you may want to upgrade sooner. But the shelf life of your hearing aids will be determined by a number of possible factors:

  • Type: There are two primary 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 as a result of exposure to dirt, sweat, and debris of the ear canal. Behind-the-ear models typically last about 6-7 years (mainly because they’re able to stay drier and cleaner).
  • Care: This should come as no surprise, but the better care for hearing aids, the longer they will last. This means ensuring your hearing aids are cleaned on a regular basis and have any necessary regular upkeep. Time put into care will translate almost directly into added functional time.
  • Construction: These days, hearing aids are made out of many types of materials, from silicon to metal to nano-coated plastics, and so on. The devices are created to be ergonomic and durable, but some materials do suffer from wear-and-tear along the way. In spite of quality construction, if you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be affected.
  • Batteries: Internal, rechargeable batteries are standard with most hearing aids in current use. The kind of battery or power supply your hearing aids use can substantially impact the overall shelf life of various models.

In most cases, the shelf life of your hearing aid is an approximation based on typical usage. But the potential life expectancy of your hearing aids is reduced if they’re not used regularly (leaving them unmaintained on a dusty shelf, for example, could very well curtail the life expectancy of your hearing devices, specifically if you leave the battery in).

Hearing aids should also be checked and professionally cleaned every now and then. This helps make certain that there is no wax buildup and that they still fit properly.

Updating Hearing Aids Before They Wear Out

There might come a time when, down the road, your hearing aid effectiveness starts to decline. Then you will need to look for a new pair. But in certain cases, you might find a new pair worthwhile long before your hearing aids begin to show their age. Some of those situations could include:

  • Your hearing fluctuates: You should change your hearing aid situation if the state of your hearing changes. In other words, your hearing aids will no longer be calibrated to yield the best possible benefits. If you want an optimal level of hearing, new hearing aids may be required.
  • Technology changes: 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 may be obtained with a particular lifestyle in mind. But perhaps your conditions change, maybe you’ve become more active and need a set that are waterproof, more rugged, or rechargeable.

You can understand why the timetable for replacing your hearing aid is difficult to predict. Usually, that 2-5 year range is fairly accurate contingent upon these few factors.

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