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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 last for years. But they quit being useful if they no longer address your level of hearing loss. Similar to prescription glasses, your hearing aids are calibrated to your particular hearing loss, which should be tested regularly. Here’s how long you can anticipate your hearing aids will last assuming they are fitted and programmed properly.

Do Hearing Aids Expire?

Nearly everything you purchase has a shelf life. With the milk in your refrigerator, that shelf life may be a few weeks. Canned products can last between several months to several years. Even electronics have a shelf life, your brand new high-def TV will probably have to be swapped out 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 set of hearing aids will last anywhere between 2-5 years, although with the technology coming out you may want to replace them sooner. But the shelf life of your hearing aids will be based upon a number of possible factors:

  • Batteries: Most (but not all) hearing aids currently use rechargeable, internal batteries. The kind of battery or power supply your hearing aids use can dramatically impact the total shelf life of different models.
  • Care: It shouldn’t surprise you to know that if you care for your hearing aids, they will last longer. Carrying out regular required upkeep and cleaning is vital. Time put into care will translate almost directly into added operational time.
  • Construction: Materials like nano-coated plastics, silicon, and metal are used to produce modern hearing aids. The devices are designed to be ergonomic and durable, but some materials do suffer from wear-and-tear along the way. If you’re prone to dropping your hearing aids, their longevity will be affected despite quality construction.
  • Type: There are two primary kinds of hearing aids: inside-the-ear and behind-the-ear. Because they are exposed to the sweat, dirt, and debris from the ear canal, inside-the-ear models normally have a shelf life of around five years. Because they are able to remain cleaner and dryer, behind the ear models typically last 6-7 years.

Usually, the standard usage of your hearing aid defines the real shelf life. But failing to wear your hearing aids might also reduce their estimated usefulness (leaving your hearing aids neglected on a shelf and unmaintained can also diminish the lifespan of your hearing aids).

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

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

In the future there could come a time when the performance of your hearing aids starts to diminish. And it will be time, therefore, to begin searching for a new set. But there will be scenarios when it will be practical to get a more modern hearing aid before your current one shows signs of wear. Some of those situations might include:

  • Your hearing changes: You need to change your hearing aid scenario if the condition of your hearing changes. Essentially, your hearing aids will no longer be calibrated to yield the best possible benefits. If you want an optimal degree of hearing, new hearing aids might be required.
  • Changes in lifestyle: In some circumstances, your first pair of hearing aids may be purchased with a particular lifestyle in mind. But maybe your conditions change, maybe you’ve become more physically active and you need a set that are waterproof, more heavy-duty, or rechargeable.
  • Technology changes: Every year, hearing aid manufacturers introduce innovative new technologies that make hearing aids more useful in novel ways. 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.

You can understand why the timetable for replacing your hearing aid is difficult to estimate. Usually, that 2-5 year range is pretty accurate depending on these few variables.

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