How Long Do Hearing Aids Last?
How long will the hearing aid work?
When deciding on new hearing aids, we must also think about what life expectancy to expect. Similar to the purchase of any electronic device, the lifespan varies and is influenced by many factors.
Most modern hearing aids have a lifespan that can range from a minimum of 3 years to an average of 7 years, but even longer. But, you have to keep in mind that two people can buy the same hearing aid, but they can benefit from a different lifespan. Here’s why:
Factors affecting the lifespan of a hearing aid:
There are a lot of very important factors that impact the lifespan of your devices but the most important are:
- The material from which the hearing aid is used
- Frequency of cleaning / sanitizing the hearing aid
- The environment in which the hearing aid is worn frequently
- How to store and store
- The style of the hearing aid
- The shape of the patient’s ear
- Frequency of maintenance
- Technological characteristics
- Special hearing needs
1. Materials used in the manufacture of hearing aids
Although designed to be durable, hearing aid housings can be made of plastic, metal, silicone, polymers or other materials that can be degraded over time. Most modern hearing aids have a ceramic coating that gives them resistance to dust, moisture, partly to water particles (depending on the amount of water they come in contact with), but they must still be used with care, away from shocks and impact.
- Frequency of cleaning
Most people never think of spending months without personal hygiene, but they do not apply the same thinking to hearing aids, although they are exposed to similar environmental conditions – moisture, a lot of dust, the natural oil produced by our skin. and sweating, extreme temperatures and strong sunlight. All this in addition to the earwax generated by the ear canal in the natural cleansing process. There are users who professionally clean their hearing aid only twice a year or maybe not as much. For this reason, the hearing aid may suffer over time and the lifespan may be shorter than expected. If you want to prolong the life of the prosthesis, a simple cleaning should be done daily, just as you received instructions from the audiology office, and normally you should go with the hearing aid for a professional cleaning every 3 or 4 months.
3. The environment in which hearing aids are worn
Hearing aids that are constantly in dusty or humid environments often have more performance issues compared to other devices. If you are concerned that the environment in which you are wearing your hearing aid may affect the device, consult a specialist to provide you with options for protecting your hearing aid from dehumidification or certain products specifically designed for your care. You may need a protective case, or you may need to schedule more professional cleaning to extend the life of your hearing aid.
4. The style and shape of the hearing aid
The conventional hearing aid is BTE, behind-the-ear, behind the ear, and usually has a longer life than the ITE hearing aid, in-the-ear = completely in the ear. The explanation for this is that the small in-ear hearing aid stays for a long time in a humid environment, in the ear canal, blocking the natural evacuation of earwax, which over time damages the electronic components. However, recent improvements in the composition of the ceramic coating of both internal and external components have managed to increase the durability of the devices, different from the hearing aids of the past.
5. Frequency of care or repairs
Most hearing aids have components that need to be replaced at some point, the sound tube, the domes. These components must be inspected regularly and replaced in a timely manner so as not to damage the hearing aid. There are parts that cannot be replaced on the spot in the office, but can be repaired or replaced in service if they become malfunctioning or damaged, for example: battery door, olive, microphones, etc.
How do you determine which factors will affect your hearing aid or hearing aids?
The durability of a hearing aid is influenced by many factors, which you can discuss in detail with your chosen specialist. During the consultation it is important to give the audiologist as many details as possible and based on this information the specialist can recommend a hearing aid as specific as possible to these needs.