How Long Do Hearing Aids Last? Understanding Their Lifespan


Hearing aids transform lives by enhancing communication and boosting overall life quality. They might even help you live longer. It’s natural to ask, how long do hearing devices last? 


The lifespan of a hearing aid varies. Typically, quality devices last between three to seven years with the right care. However, numerous factors can affect their longevity.


We’re examining what influences the lifespan of hearing devices. We’ll break down the parts of the device and offer strategies to extend their effectiveness over time. 


What Factors Affect How Long Hearing Aids Last? 


Hearing aids usually last 3-7 years, but various factors can alter this span. Let’s examine what affects this lifespan.


Care and Maintenance

Proper care extends your hearing aids’ life. Here’s what’s essential:


  • Regular Cleaning: Follow your audiologist’s cleaning advice to avoid earwax buildup, which can damage components and degrade sound quality.
  • Proper Storage: Store your devices in a dry, cool environment to protect them from moisture and extreme temperatures.
  • Battery Care: Use and handle the correct batteries properly to prevent corrosion and ensure optimal performance.


Usage Patterns

Usage significantly impacts their longevity:


  • Daily Wear Time: More usage equals more wear, but regular use keeps the cognitive connection to sound.
  • Exposure to Elements: Protect your aids from moisture, sweat, or dirt with suitable accessories if you’re active.
  • Accidental Drops: Drops can damage the internal components, even though some models are built to withstand impacts.


Hearing Device Technology Options

Advances in technology can influence how long hearing aids last:


  • Features and Functionality: Advanced features like Bluetooth or noise cancellation add complexity, which might reduce lifespan.
  • Battery Efficiency: Newer models usually offer better battery life, decreasing the need for replacements.
  • Overall Design: Improvements in design and materials can make newer models more durable.


Understanding these factors helps you care for your hearing aids better and might extend their usefulness. We’ll now break down the parts of the hearing aid to see how each contributes to its overall durability. 


Parts of a Hearing Aid That Affect How Long Do Hearing Aids Last

Here are the aspects that impact a hearing device’s lifespan:


  • Materials Used: Hearing aids consist of plastics, metals, and silicon, which can degrade over time despite protective coatings.
  • Battery Style: Rechargeable batteries last about four to five years but may degrade. When storing them, consider environmental conditions.
  • Hearing Aid Style: BTE styles generally last longer than ITE styles due to less exposure to moisture.
  • Body Physiology: Oily skin, excessive earwax, or sweat can affect your hearing dervices’ lifespan.
  • Maintenance Frequency: Routine maintenance, like replacing wax guards and tubing, helps prolong life.
  • Technological Changes: New features may lead to obsolescence, prompting upgrades.
  • Changing Needs: Advances in your hearing condition may necessitate more powerful aids or other solutions like cochlear implants.


Considering these factors, you can make more informed choices about your hearing devices and their care.


Find out more about the parts of a hearing aid.


The Role of Technological Advances in Durability


Hearing aid technology constantly evolves, offering new features and improved performance. But do these innovations affect their durability? Let’s explore how technological advances affect durability.


Pros: Enhanced Durability Through Innovation


  • Miniaturization: Advances in microchip technology make hearing aids smaller and lighter. This reduces their risk of damage from bumps or drops.
  • Improved Materials: Today’s hearing aids use high-quality, water-resistant materials. These materials withstand sweat and moisture and are better suited for daily wear.
  • Coating Technologies: New coatings protect against dust, debris, and corrosion, extending the lifespan of hearing aids.


Cons: Balancing Features with Durability


  • Increased Complexity: Features like Bluetooth and directional microphones add components. These can make hearing aids more prone to damage.
  • Battery Life vs. Functionality: Advanced features may drain batteries faster, leading to more frequent replacements and increased wear.
  • Keeping Up with the Curve: Rapid innovation can quickly make older models seem outdated. However, well-maintained hearing aids still perform well for years.

Durable hearing aids stand in front of their charging case.

Finding the Right Balance


Choosing the right hearing aid involves balancing your needs with available features. Here are tips to help:


  • Discuss Your Needs: Consult your audiologist about your lifestyle and hearing loss. They can suggest the best models for you.
  • Focus on Core Functionalities: Choose features that improve your hearing experience, like noise cancellation in noisy places.
  • Consider Upgradability: Opt for models that allow firmware updates. This way, you can enjoy new features without buying new devices.


Understanding the role of technology can help you make choices that enhance the functionality and lifespan of your hearing aids.


Getting the Most Out of Your Investment: Tips for Extending Hearing Aid Life 


Hearing aids are vital tools that boost your quality of life. You need to care for them properly to get the most out of this investment. Here’s how you can extend the life of your hearing aids and maintain optimal performance:


Your Cleaning Routine is Key


  • Follow Audiologist’s Instructions: Get your model’s cleaning schedule and tool recommendations.
  • Daily Wipe Down: Use a soft, dry cloth to clean the exterior and remove debris.
  • Brush Gently: Clean around the microphone and receiver inlets with a soft-bristled brush.
  • Regular Wax Removal: Clear earwax buildup with a wax removal tool to prevent clogs.


Moisture Management is Crucial


  • Leave Battery Door Open Overnight: This helps moisture escape and prevents corrosion.
  • Invest in a Dehumidifier: A dehumidifier is crucial in humid climates to protect your hearing aids.
  • Avoid Excessive Moisture: Remove your hearing aids during activities like showering or swimming.

An older man removes the battery from his hearing aid.

Battery Care Matters


  • Handle with Care: Avoid touching battery contacts to prevent oil transfer from your skin.
  • Store Batteries Properly: Keep them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Turn Off When Not in Use: Conserve battery life by turning off your devices when unnecessary.


Gentle Handling Pays Off


  • Store Safely: Keep your devices in a sturdy case to avoid damage.
  • Take Off Carefully: Always handle your hearing aids by the body, not the cord or tubing.
  • Avoid Extreme Temperatures: Never leave your hearing devices in hot cars or under direct sunlight.


Regular Checkups are Essential


  • Schedule Professional Cleanings: Have your audiologist clean and inspect your devices regularly.
  • Consult If Issues Arise: Contact your hearing care provider if you experience sound quality or functionality changes.


Adhering to these practical tips will greatly extend the lifespan of your hearing aids and ensure they continue providing clear and dependable sound. Next, we’ll look at signs that indicate it might be time for new hearing aids.


Is It Time for New Hearing Aids?


Even the best-cared-for hearing aids eventually reach a point where they might not meet your needs. Here are signs that it might be time to consider new hearing devices:


Changes in Sound Quality


  • Muffled or Distorted Sounds: This could indicate internal wear or outdated technology.
  • Increased Volume Needs: Needing more volume often means your hearing devices aren’t amplifying effectively.
  • Feedback and Whistling: These noises might result from a poor fit or faulty components.


Performance Issues


  • Frequent Battery Drain: Faster battery depletion may signal that your hearing devices are struggling.
  • Connectivity Issues: Problems connecting to devices could mean it’s time for an upgrade.
  • Physical Damage: Any visible damage can affect the functionality and sound quality.


Lifestyle Changes


  • Hearing Loss Progression: If your hearing has worsened, your current aids may no longer be sufficient.
  • New Needs and Activities: Changes in your lifestyle or hobbies might require different features, like enhanced noise cancellation.


These signs don’t always mean you need new hearing devices immediately. Sometimes, cleaning, repairs, or adjustments can solve these issues. However, there are situations where hearing care providers almost always recommend getting new hearing aids. Let’s explore those four reasons:


  • You’ve Experienced Big Life Changes: Changes in your home, work life, or hobbies that introduce more noise or new environments could necessitate an upgrade.
  • You’ve Developed Certain Health Conditions: If you struggle with manual tasks like changing batteries due to arthritis, consider aids with larger controls or rechargeable batteries.
  • Your hearing has gotten worse. Increased difficulty during conversations or TV time suggests you might need different aids tailored to your current needs.
  • Your Hearing Devices Are Over Four Years Old: Technology progresses, and hearing aids older than five years might lack newer features and efficiency.


Learn more about good hearing aids for seniors.


Consulting Your Hearing Care Provider


The best step is to discuss these issues with your audiologist. They can evaluate your hearing, assess your current aids, and recommend the best course of action, whether an upgrade or adjustment is needed.

An audiologist helps a woman get new hearing aids.

How Long Do Hearing Aids Last? Not As Long As Professional Hearing Care


The lifespan of your hearing devices depends on how well you care for them, how often you use them, and the technology they employ. Yet, no device lasts forever. Understanding when to replace them ensures you always hear your best.


Remember, the value of professional hearing care surpasses any device. Regular check-ups with your American Hearing + Audiology provider keep your hearing devices finely tuned and fully functional. They can also guide you when it’s time for an upgrade tailored to your evolving needs.


Connect with American Hearing + Audiology today to ensure you’re getting the best from your hearing aids and to explore upgrade options. Your hearing deserves the best possible care today and every day.