Hearing aids are a valuable investment for many individuals who struggle with hearing loss. They allow for improved communication and a better overall quality of life. However, a common question among hearing aid users is: how long will my hearing aids last?
In this blog post, we will discuss the factors that affect the lifespan of hearing aids and provide information on how to ensure that your hearing aids last as long as possible.
Factors that help determine the life of hearing aids
There are several factors that can impact the lifespan of hearing aids, including:
- Type of hearing aid: Different types of hearing aids, such as in-the-ear (ITE) or behind-the-ear (BTE) devices, have varying lifespans. BTE devices tend to have a longer lifespan due to their durability.
- Usage: The amount of use that a hearing aid receives can also affect its lifespan. Hearing aids that are worn frequently will experience more wear and tear than those that are used infrequently.
- Proper maintenance: Regular cleaning and maintenance of hearing aids can help to prolong their lifespan. Neglecting to clean and maintain hearing aids can lead to damage and a shorter lifespan.
- Exposure to moisture: Hearing aids that are exposed to moisture, such as from sweat or water, can experience damage and have a shorter lifespan.
- Quality of device: Better quality hearing aids will last longer than cheaper ones.
- Technology advances: Hearing aids technology is advancing rapidly, and new models with advanced features are released frequently. If you buy an older model, it might not last as long as the new one or it might have a hard time keeping up with software updates.
In general, the lifespan of hearing aids can range from 3-7 years, with proper care and maintenance.
How do I know when my hearing aids need replacing?
There are a few signs that can indicate that your hearing aids may need to be replaced, including:
- Reduced sound quality: If you notice a decline in the sound quality of your hearing aids, such as distortion or static, it may be a sign that they need to be replaced.
- Reduced battery life: If your hearing aids are not lasting as long on a single charge or battery, it may be a sign that the batteries need to be replaced or the device itself is faulty.
- Physical damage: If you notice any physical damage to your hearing aids, such as cracks or breaks, it may be a sign that they need to be replaced.
- Reduced effectiveness and functionality: If you find that your hearing aids are not as effective as they once were in helping you hear, it may be a sign that they need to be replaced or adjusted.
- Technology advances: If newer hearing aid models have been released and your current ones are significantly older and have a hard time keeping up with software updates, you may want to consider upgrading to the newer model.
If you have any of these concerns, it is always a good idea to consult with an audiologist or hearing aid professional for an evaluation and recommendations.
Do hearing aids become less effective over time?
Hearing aids can become less effective over time for a number of reasons.
Some of the factors that can cause hearing aids to become less effective include:
- Wax build-up: Earwax can accumulate on the microphone or receiver of the hearing aid, blocking or reducing the sound that is being amplified. This can lead to a reduction in the effectiveness of the hearing aid.
- Dead batteries: If the batteries in your hearing aids are dead or low on power, the hearing aids will not function properly, leading to a reduction in effectiveness.
- Physical damage: If a hearing aid is damaged, it may not function properly and may need to be repaired or replaced.
- Technology advances: As newer hearing aid models are released, older models may become less effective due to advancements in technology.
- Ear canal changes: The shape and size of the ear canal can change over time, which may affect the fit and effectiveness of hearing aids.
- Hearing loss progression: Hearing loss can progress over time, and the hearing aids may not be able to keep up with the changes, leading to a reduction in effectiveness.
Regular maintenance, cleaning and check-ups with an audiologist or hearing aid professional can help to extend the life and effectiveness of your hearing aids.
If you notice a reduction in the effectiveness of your hearing aids, it’s recommended to schedule an appointment with a professional to have them evaluated and make adjustments or repairs as needed.