Treating your hearing loss with hearing aids can be a big investment of time and money. One of the first questions you may ask your audiologist after they recommend hearing aids is “how long will these last me?” There is no straight forward answer, because just like a car, the lifespan of your hearing aids varies depending on many factors. Below are some considerations for how long your devices should last you.
Materials Used to Make the Devices
Hearing aids are designed to survive the rugged environment of your ear, but they still contain intricate technology that can be damaged easily. Take care to protect your devices from shock and impact.
Most hearing aids are made of plastic, metal, silicon, polymers and other materials that can be subject to structural degradation. However, modern devices typically have a protective nanocoating to help prevent dust and moisture from harming the technology inside.
Cleaning & Maintenance Schedule
Your hearing aids are exposed to the same environment as your face, and they should be cleaned just as often. Sweat, oils from the skin and hair, dust and earwax can all affect the lifespan of your devices if not cleaned regularly. We recommend a daily wipe-down of your devices as well as a professional cleaning every three to four months.
Most hearing aids have parts that can clog or break, like wax guards, tubing, battery doors, external speakers, microphone covers and earmolds. These should be replaced as needed in order to extend the lifespan of your devices.
Hearing aids don’t live as long if they are regularly exposed to damp or dusty environments. If you live in a humid place or your hobbies/work expose you to excessive dust, talk to your provider about protective measures. They may recommend use of protective sleeves or more frequent professional cleanings.
Hearing aids with disposable batteries should be stored with the battery door open to allow moisture to evaporate. Storing them in a dehumidifier while you’re not wearing them can also help prolong their lifespan.
Rechargeable hearing aids use lithium-ion batteries, which last four to five years. The older your devices are, the shorter the lifespan will be, similar to smartphones. If your battery is draining too quickly and your devices are old, talk to your provider about replacing the rechargeable batteries or upgrading the devices.
For more information about prolonging the lifespan of your hearing aids or to talk to a provider about upgrading, call the experts at Topeka ENT today.