How Long Do Hearing Aids Last: Understanding the Lifespan of a Hearing AidPublished On: June 19, 2019
Much like our hearing, hearing aids don’t last forever. When you invest in a hearing aid, you want it to work for as long as possible.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), around 28.8 million adults in the U.S. could benefit from using hearing aids.
With advances in technology, finding the perfect hearing aid for your hearing loss is easier than ever. But replacing hearing aids more often than necessary is expensive.
How long do hearing aids last? We’re here to help you understand the lifespan of a hearing aid.
Which Hearing Aid is Best?
Your level of hearing loss and the style of aid that works best for you determines which hearing aid is best for you.
Old style hearing aids–like the over-the-ear device your grandparents wear–are what most people think of for hearing aids. But the latest hearing aid technologies include inside-the-canal devices that are almost invisible.
Ranging from budget aids to expensive aids, work with your doctor and providers to find the best hearing aid for your hearing needs.
Here’s a good place to start when considering what type of hearing aid is best for you.
What is the Average Life of Hearing Aids?
Once you have your hearing aids, many factors play a part in how long your device lasts.
Most hearing aids have an average life between three and seven years.
That’s a wide range of usefulness. But wear and tear, the frequency of use, and other factors affect the lifespan of your specific hearing aid.
Some styles of hearing aids last longer than others.
It’s generally understood in the industry that behind-the-ear (BTE) devices last longer than in-the-canal aids.
A hearing aid sitting on top of your ear is not subject to the damp conditions of your inner ear.
However, as hearing aid materials and coatings improve with new technologies, this issue for inner ear hearing aids could go away.
Nano-coatings used on medical devices provide a thin layer of additional protection against liquids, stains, and other corrosive substances.
How often do you clean your hearing aids? Probably not often enough.
One of the best things to help your hearing aids last longer is regular cleaning.
Oils, hair, skin, germs, earwax, and other things attach to your hearing aids from normal, everyday wear.
Monthly cleaning isn’t enough if you want your hearing aids to last as long as they can.
Clean your aids daily for longevity.
Replacing parts is easier and less expensive than replacing a complete hearing aid.
Take your hearing aids in for maintenance on a regular basis.
Your hearing aid practitioner makes sure everything is working, makes adjustments, and replaces parts as-needed.
Where you store your hearing aids is important.
When you remove your aids for the night, take out the battery, leave the battery door open, and place your hearing aids in a hard case for protection.
If you live in a damp or humid climate, consider a case with a dehumidifier. Moisture can corrode your hearing aid and cause it to stop working.
How often and how long you wear your hearing aids affects hearing aid lifespan.
If you don’t need your hearing aid all day, save some of its life by turning it off and removing it from your ear until you need it.
If you do need your hearing aids all day, it’s okay. Be prepared to replace them more often than if you only wear them as-needed.
Your hearing needs might change over time.
If your hearing aid needs replacing, it could be a matter of changes in your hearing needs rather than a dying hearing aid.
Before you decide on a replacement aid, have your hearing checked with your doctor. Be sure your needs haven’t changed before replacing your hearing aid with the same model.
Your old or current devices might not be the best solutions for your current hearing loss situation.
If it’s time for an upgrade, don’t wait and risk further hearing loss.
It’s possible your body’s physiology creates a perfect storm of conditions that cause you to burn through hearing aids faster than others.
It’s not your fault. But if you produce a lot of earwax or you sweat a lot, be sure you clean your hearing aids daily.
Discuss any of these issues with your hearing aid practitioner. They’ll recommend options for your hearing aids to protect against excess earwax and other physical issues that work against the long life of your hearing aids.
Technology Also Determines Life Span
Advances in technology could render your hearing aid obsolete faster than it wears out on its own.
Manufacturers stop making replacement parts for older hearing aids as new models hit the market.
Your hearing aid might be capable of lasting longer. But if parts aren’t available for ongoing maintenance, you’ll need to replace your aids anyway.
When You Need to Replace
If you’ve done all you can do to extend the life of your hearing aid but it’s no longer working well, it’s time for a replacement.
Work with your doctor, your insurance, and your hearing aid practitioner for your best options.
One of our favorite hearing aids is a Starkey hearing aid replacement.
Starky is on the cutting edge of hearing aid technology. They also give the gift of hearing through the company’s foundation.
How Long Do Hearing Aids Last? The Answer Fluctuates
The question of “how long do hearing aids last” is hard to answer with a lifespan that covers every situation.
Hearing aids lose power and effectiveness over time. The good news is the industry is always working toward improvements in devices and affordability.
Don’t resign yourself to hearing challenges that keep you from hearing well or participating in life.
Improve your quality of life with the right hearing aid for your declining hearing, or with a replacement for your failing device. Check out our page on hearing loss help for more information on the industry’s latest innovations.