When it comes to hearing aids, there is no question that they improve one’s quality of life. Hearing aids can make someone feel more included in social settings, more confident, and more comfortable in the workplace and home.
Once someone with a hearing impairment uses hearing aids, they will never experience life the same without them. Thus, to get the most out of your hearing aids, you should look to increase the hearing aid’s lifespan. The longer your hearing aids last, the less money you’ll have to spend and the less downtime you’ll have without them.
How Long Do Hearing Aids Last?
Hearing aids are advanced pieces of technology that impact the daily lives of millions of people around the world. However, they are not perfect. Just like cars, phones, and other technology products, they have a lifespan. Of course, there are ways to improve that lifespan. However, the question, do hearing aids wear out, is an emphatic yes. Over time, hearing aids will naturally lose effectiveness.
On average, hearing aids life expectancy is between 4 and 7 years. This lifespan changes depending on what kind of hearing aids you own, how often you use them, and many other factors that we will explore here.
Type of Hearing Aids
Not all hearing aids are made the same. For example, behind-the-ear hearing aid life expectancy is generally greater than in-the-ear hearing aids. This is because the behind the ear aids have a compartment protected from moisture, dirt, ear wax, and other substances as it sits behind the ear. On the other hand, in-the-ear hearing aids are smaller, more delicate, and exposed to more moisture and harmful substances.
Amount of Use
Depending on how much you use your hearing aids, you can expect to receive more or fewer years of use. Individuals who use their hearing aids all day, every day, will likely see their hearing aids fade in effectiveness sooner than others who use their aids less.
Not all hearing aids are created equal. For example, today’s hearing aids are often small and discreet, yet they’re built with silicon, resistant plastics, and metal.
As technology advances, so do the materials used to protect the delicate technological components inside the hearing aids. A higher-end hearing aid will likely last longer than a cheap, over-the-counter hearing aid, as it’s made out of stronger, wear-resistant materials.
How They’re Handled
Just like a car, how you handle and care for your hearing aid will determine how long it lasts. If you own a car, never change its oil and get other maintenance; it likely will not last as long as a vehicle receives regular maintenance. The same is true of hearing aids. By handling your hearing aids with care, you can get a longer lifespan from them.
How to Improve Hearing Aids Life Expectancy
Hearing aids naturally collect dirt, moisture, and even ear wax. So to get the best life out of your hearing aids, you should clean them regularly. This means taken apart the hearing aids, removing the battery, and wiping the whole device clean.
The tips of the hearing aids will likely collect wax from your ears and dirt from the environment. This can all be cleaned out using a toothpick, small pick, or other cleaning product provided by the hearing aid manufacturer.
Often, your hearing aids will have come with cleaning kits and directions. Follow these directions regularly, and you’ll be sure to improve the life expectancy of your hearing aids.
Always Handle With Caution
As hearing aids are incredibly delicate, they need to be handled with great care. For example, rather than take out or put in your hearing aids while you’re walking, do so somewhere safe. Take out your hearing aids with a soft surface underneath you, just in case they fall. Then, if they do fall, you’ll be able to find them quickly, and they’ll likely have sustained no damage.
Furthermore, never handle your hearing aids when your hands are wet or dirty. Whatever is on your hands can be transferred to your hearing aids which may permanently damage them. When you expect to be in rain or overly humid environments, it’s best to put your hearing aids away to keep them from getting wet.
Store Your Hearing Aids Correctly
Many people like to store their hearing aids in the bathroom, as that is where they take them out and put them in. However, that is not the safest place for hearing aids. Restrooms are naturally warmer and more humid due to showers. This increased humidity may cause moisture to build up on your hearing aids, damaging them over time.
Instead, store your hearing aids in a safe, dry place where it is not too cold nor too hot. Also, never leave your hearing aids in direct sunlight as too much heat may damage the electrical components.
Hearing Aid Maintenance
To increase the life of your hearing aids, you should perform regular maintenance on your hearing aids. For example, if your battery is rechargeable, you should always charge it at night to not let the battery die completely.
If your hearing aids came with spare parts—tips, tubes, or others—you should replace them when you notice wear on the original parts. Other maintenance you can perform includes storing the battery in a dry place, using a hearing aid dehumidifier, and getting professionally cleaned.
Get Regular Checkups
By getting regular checkups, you can ensure your hearing aids offer the best utility for your specific case. With time, your hearing may change, or your preferences in settings may vary.
With regular visits to a hearing healthcare professional, you can ensure your hearing aids are set up to maximize their function. Furthermore, you can get professional cleanings done on your hearing aids every few months. This will help improve the life expectancy of hearing aids.