How Long Can Hearing Aids Last?

 

Thinking about investing in hearing devices? That’s a great first step towards better hearing and preventing cognitive decline! Naturally, you’ll want to know: how long can hearing aids last?

 

The Hearing Aid Lifespan: A Breakdown

 

Hearing devices typically last between 3 to 7 years. However, several factors influence their longevity:

 

  • Frequency of Use: Daily use leads to more wear and tear than occasional use.
  • Care and Maintenance: Proper care extends lifespan. Regular cleaning and careful handling are essential.
  • Technological Advancements: Newer models might offer better features, impacting your decision to upgrade.

 

On average, in-the-ear hearing devices last 4 to 5 years, while behind-the-ear models last 5 to 6 years. This difference is due to their exposure to moisture and wear conditions.

 

Proper care and attention to your hearing needs can make your hearing aids a reliable companion for many years.

 

Stay tuned as we explore these factors in more detail and share tips to maximize the lifespan and performance of your hearing devices.

 

Find out more about the parts of a hearing aid

Hands clean a hearing aid.

Factors Affecting How Long Hearing Aids Can Last

 

Several factors impact the average lifespan of hearing aids. Here are the key influences:

  • Materials Used

Hearing devices are made from plastic, metal, silicon, and polymers. Though durable, these materials can degrade over time. Protective coatings help resist water, dust, and moisture.

  • Frequency of Cleaning

Daily cleaning and professional cleanings every three to four months extend hearing aid life. Earwax, moisture, dust, and sweat all affect longevity.

  • Usage Environment

Damp or dusty environments can cause performance issues. Use protective sleeves and consult your hearing care professional for tips.

  • Battery Style

Rechargeable batteries last about four to five years. Disposable batteries need proper storage to prevent moisture damage.

  • Hearing Aid Style

Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids generally last longer than in-the-ear (ITE) styles. BTE models are less exposed to moisture and earwax.

  • Body Physiology

Oily skin, excessive earwax, or heavy sweating can impact hearing aid longevity. Discuss these factors with your hearing care practitioner.

  • Frequency of Maintenance

Regularly replacing parts like wax guards and earmold tubing is crucial. Routine maintenance ensures optimal performance.

  • Technological Advancements

Newer hearing devices offer improved features and connectivity. Older models may become obsolete as technology evolves.

  • Changing Needs

Hearing loss can progress, requiring more powerful aids or different features. Regular hearing tests help ensure your aids meet your needs.

 

Understanding these factors helps answer the question: how long can hearing aids last? With proper care, your devices can serve you well for many years.

 

The Gradual Decline: Do Hearing Aids Lose Their Effectiveness Over Time?

 

You’ve been faithfully using your hearing devices, and they’ve been a game-changer. But lately, conversations feel muffled, and you ask people to repeat themselves. Do they lose effectiveness over time?

 

Two Key Factors:

 

  1. Hearing Aid Wear and Tear

Your devices can experience gradual wear and tear. 

 

  • Physical wear: Tiny microphones and speakers can become less sensitive, especially if you always use them at their maximum level. 
  • Battery issues: Worn-out batteries deliver less power, impacting sound quality.
  • Exposure to elements: Moisture, dust, or extreme temperatures can damage internal components.

 

  1. Progressive Hearing Loss

 

Age-related hearing loss can worsen over time. Even with functional hearing devices, you might perceive a decline in effectiveness as your hearing needs change.

 

Key Takeaway

While hearing aids can decline in effectiveness, progressive hearing loss might also be a factor. If you suspect an issue, schedule a checkup with your hearing professional. They can assess your hearing needs, inspect your aids, and determine if an adjustment, repair, or upgrade is necessary.

 

Proper care ensures your hearing aids remain effective. Addressing changes in your hearing promptly helps maintain optimal hearing health.

 

Signs Your Hearing Aid is Losing Effectiveness

 

Your hearing devices have been essential to your hearing health. But what happens when they seem to let you down? Here’s how to identify signs your hearing aid might be losing effectiveness and when you might need an upgrade.

 

Reduced effectiveness can stem from two main reasons:

 

  • Hearing Aid Issues: Over time, devices can experience wear and tear.
  • Progressive Hearing Loss: Hearing needs can change, and your current aids might not keep up.

 

Signs of Hearing Aid Malfunction

 

  • Distorted Sound: This could indicate a problem with the microphone, receiver, or internal circuitry. Sounds might become scratchy, metallic, or unpleasant.
  • Reduced Volume: Even with new batteries, the overall volume might seem lower. This could be due to weak batteries, malfunctioning amplifiers, or clogged components.
  • Battery Drain: Rapid battery drain might indicate internal issues affecting power consumption.
  • Inconsistent Performance: Fluctuations in effectiveness throughout the day could mean loose connections or failing components.

A volume dial turned to its max volume of 10.

When to Consider an Upgrade

 

If your hearing loss has progressed, you might need more powerful aids. Signs include:

 

  • Constantly asking people to repeat themselves: Even in quiet environments, conversations seem muffled.
  • Struggling to hear in challenging environments: Background noise overwhelms, making it difficult to follow conversations.
  • Needing the volume turned up to high levels: Even at the highest volume, sounds seem faint.

Understand more about muffled hearing. 

 

What to Do Next

 

If you’re experiencing any of these signs, schedule an appointment with your hearing provider. We can assess your needs, inspect your aids, and determine the issue. Recommendations might include:

 

  • Hearing Aid Cleaning and Repair: A thorough cleaning and repair could restore performance.
  • Hearing Aid Upgrade: If your hearing loss has progressed, you might need aids with more power or advanced features.

 

Early detection and addressing concerns with your hearing professional are crucial. We can help you decide if a simple fix or an upgrade is necessary to maintain optimal hearing health.

 

Remember, understanding how long hearing aids can last and recognizing these signs can help you keep your hearing aids performing their best.

 

Making Your Hearing Aids Last Longer

 

Your hearing aids are a valuable investment in your hearing health. With proper care, you can extend their lifespan and ensure optimal performance. Here’s how:

 

Cleaning

  • Frequency: Clean them daily with a soft, dry cloth.
  • Tools: Use a cleaning brush designed for delicate components. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cloths.
  • Focus Areas: Brush away earwax buildup around the microphone and receiver inlets. Clean the battery compartment with a dry cloth.
  • Wax Removal: Consult your hearing professional about specialized wax removal tools if earwax buildup is persistent.

 

Storage

  • Environment: Store your devices in their protective case with the battery compartment open. This allows moisture to escape.
  • Avoid Extremes: Keep them away from extreme temperatures and humidity. Don’t store them in the bathroom or near heat sources.
  • Desiccants: Use a dehumidifier designed for hearing devices to absorb moisture and prevent damage from condensation.
  • Drying Kit: Invest in a drying kit specifically designed for your devices to remove moisture effectively.

A close-up of hands covered in soap bubbles is on a white background.

Handling

  • Wash Your Hands: Wash and dry your hands before handling your hearing devices to prevent dirt and oils from transferring.
  • Grip by the Body: To reduce the risk of damage, handle your hearing devices by the body, not the microphone or receiver.
  • Avoid Rough Handling: Treat your devices with care. Avoid dropping or bending them.

 

Professional Care

  • Regular Checkups: Schedule checkups with your hearing professional every six months to a year for cleaning, adjustments, and performance evaluations.
  • Early Intervention: Address any decline in performance promptly with your hearing professional. Early intervention can prevent minor issues from becoming major repairs.

 

By following these cleaning, storage, handling, and professional care practices, you can significantly extend the lifespan of your hearing devices. Proper maintenance ensures your aids continue to provide optimal hearing for years to come. A little care goes a long way in protecting your investment and maximizing the benefits of your hearing aids.

 

Is It Time to Replace Your Hearing Aids? 

 

Understanding how long hearing devices can last helps you maximize their benefits. Proper care, regular maintenance, and timely upgrades ensure your devices perform optimally for years.

 

If your devices aren’t as effective as they used to be, it’s time for a checkup. Contact American Hearing + Audiology today to schedule an appointment. Let us help you maintain your hearing health and keep your hearing aids working their best.