It is very important to consider how long a hearing aid will last before purchasing. While quality hearing aids are expected to last up to eight years, a lot of factors can reduce this expectation. Two people can use the same brand of hearing aids for the different time span. So calculating a specific lifespan for the hearing aid might not be possible. Nonetheless, there are a few things to look out for to determine whether to stop using a particular hearing aid or not.
The common idea is that you need to change your hearing aids after a 5-year life span. It is important to understand what the 5-year span really means. Don’t just throw away your hearing aids yet without reading through this article.
How long do you need to use a hearing aid before replacing them?
How long a hearing will last depends on a number of factors. However, the general cycle of hearing aid technology is between three to five years. While different improvements are made from time to time, professionals are of the view that the real change in the hearing aid technology happens within four to five years.
This means that at the end of five years, there is a completely new hearing aid design. The technology and effectiveness of hearing aids continue to improve with time. Five years period is a good time frame to think of a new hearing aid. This does not mean that hearing aids cannot work beyond five years. There are people who have used the hearing aid effectively for up to 10 years. However, there is always the need to move up with the latest trend.
How long will a hearing aid last before finally giving up?
A hearing aid can keep working for eight years or ten years. As they get older, they become difficult to fix in case they breakdown. This does not indicate that they will go completely bad. But if they go bad eventually, it might just be the end of the hearing aid.
With more upgrades to the hearing aid, the old ones begin to face-out. After sometimes, most manufacturers stop producing spare parts for older models. There is more focus on the newer models. When scarcity of spare parts finally hits the market then you know it’s time to put an end to your hearing aid and go for newer models.
What is the average lifespan of a hearing aid?
Modern hearing aids are designed to last a bit longer. This heavily depends on the type and the way you use the hearing aid. The hearing aid on average is estimated to last anything from five to eight years. There are a few other hearing aids that last longer than the estimated time period. Behind the ear hearing aids tends to last longer. They are estimated to last up to eight years and beyond. In-the-ear hearing aids may require a replacement after a period of 5 years. This is also applicable to in the canal hearing aids. If you manage to get your hearing aid to keep working beyond eight years, then, you’re very lucky. Count all the years after as plus years.
It will be of great benefit if you change your hearing aid after five to eight years. This too does not mean that you should upgrade after every four to six years.
Factors that can determine how long a hearing aid will last
There are quite a number of factors that will determine how long a hearing aid will last. Some of the factors are explained below:
- The kind of material used to manufacture the hearing aid
The hearing aid is a complex device that is made up of different components. These components consist of different parts made from different materials. In most cases, hearing aids are designed to be worn for the most part of our day. They are designed to be portable and durable. A hearing aid consists can of parts made of silicon, plastic, polymer or metal. These parts have different levels of degradation. A nano-coated hearing aid will last longer. This nano-coat helps to prevent moisture and dust from damaging your hearing aid. It is also important to handle the hearing aid with care. Subjecting your hearing aid to too much shock can damage the device.
- How often you clean your hearing aid ca determine how long it will last
We always want to care for our hair and body. However, we often forget to take care of our hearing aids. Most times our hearing aid is exposed to dust and other environmental factors. Constant wearing of the hearing aid makes exposes them to moisture, oil from our skin and ear wax. High temperatures and sunlight even make the condition worse for the hearing aid. Some users think it’s wise to professionally have their hearing aid cleaned twice a year. This is not healthy for your hearing aid. For a longer experience with your hearing aid, it is important to clean your hearing aid daily. Ensure to read the cleaning directions provided by the audiologist. Also, take them for professional cleaning after three months of use.
- The way you store your hearing aid can affect the lifespan of the device
When you’re not wearing the hearing aid, you store them to keep them safe. The way hearing aids are stored can affect its performance. The best way to store your hearing aid is with the battery removed in a protective case. Storing your hearing aid in a case with a humidifier is a sure way to ensure that your hearing aids stay drier. It is important to verify from your audiologist the best storage case for your hearing aid. Storing your hearing aid with batteries inside for so long can damage the device. Battery corrosion is one thing that can destroy your hearing aid much faster than expected. This is why it is important to always keep them out of the set. This will ensure that you enjoy your hearing aid for a long time. Nobody likes replacing a hearing aid after a few months.
- The place you wear your hearing aid can affect the lifespan of your device
The best way to get better when hearing loss occurs is by wearing your hearing aid often. Storing them up in a safe case does nobody any good. However, wearing your hearing aid in a dusty and damp environment can affect its performance. This is why most people using hearing aids in such an environment often have more issues. It is important to always talk to your audiologist about your environment. He will proffer solution on how best to use your hearing aid in your environment.
- The style and kind of hearing aid you use
Generally, it is understandable that behind-the-ear hearing aids last longer than in-the-ear style hearing aids. With the advancement in the nano-coating technology, this is about to change. The nano-coating helps to protect both the internal and external components of the hearing aid. When fully implemented, this will ensure that hearing aids last a lot longer.
- Your body makeup
People’s body makeup is different. There are some people with harder body chemistry than the others. This can affect how fast the hearing aid will degrade over time. For people with stronger body chemistry, plastic components of the hearing aid tend to degenerate and discolor faster. For those who sweat a lot or produce a lot of ear wax, the possibility of the hearing aid working for a longer period is rare. Those with oily skin will also have a problem with using a hearing aid for a long time. Controlling these things are possible however it is important to discuss it with your audiologist. The audiologist will help you select a hearing aid according to your body physiology.
- Your hearing aid maintenance culture can determine how long they will last
It is important to carry out a routine maintenance check of your hearing aid. There are minor parts that can be readily replaced by the hearing aid professional. Ensuring that these little parts are changed when due can help your hearing aid last longer. Some people tend to neglect the parts but they are vital parts of the hearing aid. Parts such as silicon earpiece cover, wax protector and earmold tubes can be replaced during routine maintenance. Other parts like the battery doors, speakers, microphone cover and the earmolds require a repair at the repair clinics. When a part has become too old, it is advisable to throw them away.
Going for maintenance regularly can help your hearing aid last much longer. At maintenance, faults can be detected and fixed.
- Growth in technology
Lack of spare parts is one of the reasons that can affect your hearing aids. When a hearing aid gets too old, the spare parts become scarce. A hearing aid that has lasted over 8 years can be difficult to repair when it develops a fault. This is due to the fact that manufacturers face out a hearing aid design after a period of five to ten years. Technological advancement is also applicable to the software used programming the hearing aid. This software is improved over time. This means that once a software issue comes up, the hearing aid will certainly be replaced. The software used in hearing aid programming eight years ago will be considered outdated and basic today. Most people might want to stick to their older technology so long as it serves. There are, however, quite a number of people who will want to benefit from newer technology. They can consider changing their hearing aid after four to five years.
- Change in your hearing requirements
The major reason for the hearing aid is to enable the wearer to hear very well. It also helps someone with a hearing loss problem to communicate with other members of the family. There are times when a person’s hearing need changes. In some cases, one's hearing problem can progress from bad to worse. This means that a more powerful hearing aid is required. A change in the wearer’s lifestyle can also mean a change in the hearing aid. The wearer may now require a hearing aid with less or more options. When a hearing aid that is still fully functional is replaced, it is important to talk to your hearing aid professional, he might have other uses for it.
How to keep your hearing aid safe to last longer
For the best hearing aid experience, there are some precautionary measures you need to take. Hearing aids are electronic devices and as such must be handled with care. The size of the hearing aid is also small. This means care must be taken not to misplace it. Below are some of the ways to ensure your hearing aid lasts longer.
Do not drop the hearing aid
Like every electronic device, incessant falls can really damage your hearing aid. The hearing aid is made up of tiny components. These components may be tough but you can’t control what happens when the hearing aid hits a hard floor. Hearing aid professionals’ advice that you place a soft surface under your hearing aid when handling them. It is safer than the hard tiles or the bathroom floor. Store your hearing aids in a safe case when they are not in use. You can talk to your hearing aid professional to assist you with one. Storage cases are a must have for people who own hearing aids. They remain the best way to store up your hearing aid. Storage cases are very important when you’re embarking on a journey. There are storage cases designed to keep the components of your hearing aid dry. This why it is important to talk to a professional to help you make the best selection. Depending on where you live, your storage needs can vary.
Keep your hearing aid safe in the summer
Most people may not have much problem with the other times of the year. The real challenge comes in the summer. There is just a lot to deal with when the summer sets in with its heat wave and high temperature. You know it’s time to give that hearing aid an extra measure of care. In the summer, we sweat more which is not friendly with our hearing aid. This can lead to condensation in the hearing aid. It is important to check the hearing aid more often in the summer. Check the battery drawers, ensure the battery case is constantly dry. Ensure to keep the hearing aid away from the sun when they are not in use. Do not leave your hearing aid in the car. Excessive heat in the car during the summer can damage the hearing aid. The plastic components can melt and even internal components can be damaged by excessive heat. Keep your hearing aid away from the direction of the sunlight when wearing them. The summer can be very hard weather on plastic components and electronic devices. However, taking the right steps will keep your hearing aid in good condition throughout the summer sun.
Be wary of the beach when using your hearing aid
While the beach can be relaxing and a haven for those who wish to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it is not the best place for your hearing aid. There are a lot of disadvantages associated with the hearing aid around the beach. Salt water is not very friendly with plastic and even metal components of the hearing aid. Besides leaving salt crystals inside the hearing aid, electronic devices are not friends with water. Water can cause severe damage to your hearing aid. It is therefore advisable to stay clear of the water if you have your hearing aid on.
The beach is also full of sand. Beach sand can feel harmless till they get into your hearing aid and block the microphone port. Avoid touching your hearing aid if your hands are sandy. Better still, you may want to keep your hearing aid in a safe storage pack when at the beach.
At the beach, most people apply the sunscreen to keep them safe from the excessive heat of the sun. At the same time, sunscreen can contain harmful chemicals that can damage the hearing aid. It is therefore advisable to take off the hearing aid before applying the sunscreen. Nobody wants to go through the process of changing a hearing aid after a few months.
Chemicals in some cosmetics can be harmful to your hearing aids.
Our everyday care products can contain chemicals that are harmful to our hearing aids. Products such as the hairspray, body spray, perfumes, sunscreen and suntan, aftershave creams and lotions, insect repellants and eardrops can damage the hearing aid. It is safest to remove the hearing aid when using any of these products. Allow these products to dry completely before wearing back your hearing aid. Also, ensure to wash your hands or wipe them dry before handling your hearing aid.
Keep your hearing aid protected from cold and winter snow
Just like the summer, winter has its own tone of problems on the hearing aid. Hearing aids can have difficulty working perfectly in cold conditions. This means you might get less from your hearing aid as well as have a battery that lasts only a short while. Ensure that your batteries are stored at room temperature during the winter. Keep some extra batteries handy so you don’t get stranded. Store them in your jacket where they can stay warm to improve their performance. A sudden change in temperature when you step into the room after a long walk in the snow can cause condensation in the battery chamber. It is therefore important to keep the battery chamber always dry. Open the chamber, remove the battery at night and keep them in a safe place.
Keep your hearing aid away from water
While some hearing aids claim to be water resistant, exposing electronic devices to water is not safe. It is therefore advised to keep them protected all the time from water. With recent upgrade in technology, nano-coats are used to protect hearing aids from getting damaged by water and moisture. Why this may be true, water or moisture retained inside the device can affect it negatively. Leaving our hearing aid to chance hoping that is will be safe from water is certainly not in the best of practice. It is important to take extra safety measures to ensure your hearing aid is safe. Use an umbrella when it rains and keeps your hearing aid away from water. Avoid any liquid substance from splashing on your hearing aid as well.
Take care when cleaning the hearing aid
When cleaning the hearing aid, some people may be tempted to use cleaning fluids. Professionals’ advice that you should avoid using cleaning fluids on your hearing aid. It will be in your best interest to take your hearing aid to an audiologist. He will guide you on the ways to clean your hearing aid. They also carry out the duty of giving the hearing aid an in-depth cleaning when the time is due. They also ensure that all parts are functional and replace faulty ones. Your hearing aid requires regular cleaning to avoid earwax clogging. It also requires that cleaning should be done with care and professionalism. Don’t damage your hearing aids while trying to keep them clean.
When you invest in a quality hearing aid, you will get an estimated lifespan of three to 8 years on average. When coupled with good care and practices, a hearing aid might as well last for ten years. This also prevents you from the stress of having to replace hearing aids very often. Replace worn out parts of the hearing aid. This can prevent further damage an improve efficacy of the device.