How long do average hearing aids last? It’s a loaded question from an industry that needs to keep on selling. There’s also a medical professional’s duty to advise consumers of all their choices.
A regular hearing aid store may suggest an upgrade ‘to benefit from latest technology’. Or they may suggest your hearing has deteriorated to the extent you need more advanced technology. If we are not into the latest gadgets, what is the average life of hearing aids?
How Long Hearing Aids Last Depends on the Design
Hearing aids are packed with space-grade technology inside their ergonomically smooth plastic cases. The only moving parts are the control buttons and access panels for the batteries. They should last for years if we care for them properly.
They could last forever were it not for our fiddly fingers and the environments in which we have our being. In practice, a behind-the-ear hearing aid properly cared for could last six to seven years. In-canal ones last one, maybe two years less. However, hearing aid stamina depends on how we treat them as with any device.
This difference in hearing aid durability is a consequence of the human interface:
- In-ear hearing aids are smaller, and their technology is squeezed in tighter. They are inside the ear canal which is a warm, humid ear wax factory.
- Behind-the-ear hearing aids have more space for the electronics. Their replaceable ear buds can withstand the in-canal environment.
This Sounds Expensive Given Average Hearing Aids Don’t Last That Long
It could cost a fortune to make hearing aids that lasted for decades. The cost-benefit break suggests we purchase less expensive hearing aids and replace them more often. After all, this is the basis of the average American’s auto purchasing decisions. Why not hearing aids too?
The Catch 22 is ‘less expensive’ hardly applies to what’s available in hearing aid shops. The shocker is hearing aid stamina is not always price-related. Cost is more likely to be dependent on the length of the supply chain. The question is, why subsidize the nation’s shop fitters and property tycoons.
Your Hearing Aids’ Durability Is Actually in YOUR Hands!
Walk into a hearing aid store, and they may give you a dozen reasons why your hearing aids need replacing. We’d prefer to share our five smart ways to make them last longer. Your hearing aid stamina is in your hands. That’s because the average life of hearing aids depends on how their owners treat them, and this is how it works.
- Hearing aids are tiny packages of electronics just like your computer or smartphone. Knocking these against walls and dropping them is a bad idea.
The same logic applies to hearing aids despite their tough cases. Handle them carefully, hold your hands over a soft surface in case they fall.
- Hearing aid stamina can fade after spending long periods in direct sunlight. Condensation can accumulate in battery compartments. Plastic casings can melt in severe heat.
Keep hearing aids in the shade when not wearing them. Wipe the battery compartments inside with a clean tissue if you see sweating.
- Sun, sand and saltwater are great combinations over relaxing sunny weekends. But sand can block microphones, and leave salt crystals behind.
Don’t touch your hearing aids with sun lotion on your hands. Keep them away from salt water. Even better, don’t bring them to the beach.
- Electronic circuits don’t work as well in extreme winter weather. This can shorten your battery life, and cause condensation when you come indoors.
Carry spare batteries with you unless your batteries are rechargable, in which case you may need a power boost every night.
- Electricity and hearing aids don’t like water in any shape or form. Moisture always seems to find a way through and slash hearing aid stamina.
Check your ears every time before you step in the shower. Dry the cases if you forget, and pop them in the dehumidifier and you should be okay.
Hearing Aids Don’t Last Forever But There’s No Need to Bust the Bank
The life expectancy of hearing aids is limited no matter what we do. While it may seem easier to pay premium prices in luxury shopping malls, a hearing aid just amplifies sounds no matter how much you spend.
Moreover, hearing aid maker warranties won’t cover accidental damage, and moisture always leaves stains that reveal what actually happened. If your hearing aids are getting on in years - or you need hearing aids for the first time – you have a straightforward decision to make.
Do you head for the hearing aid store and spend thousands of dollars on something that won’t last any longer? Or do you click on this link and order a new pair for less than $200 from Blue Angels that are fully rechargeable? The chances are you may never notice the difference. And you won’t have to mortgage the house if you sit on them, or drop them in the tub.