When a person is ready to get fitted with hearing aids, they have a lot of questions. One of the first is, “How long, on average, does a hearing aid last?”
Given the significant cost and the importance of hearing aids, it would be nice to say they’ll last a lifetime. Really, though, the average lifespan of a hearing aid is 5 years.
Sometimes hearing aids are lost or become damaged in an accident. Perhaps the most common reason people need new hearing aids, however, is technical obsolescence.
At Modern Hearing Solutions, we always work to ensure our patients are fitted with the best hearing aids to meet their needs. Another priority is educating hearing aid users on how best to care for their hearing aid. Careful hearing aid maintenance can add years to the life of these all-important devices.
Tech Improvements Come Fast in a Digital World
In this digital age, a new model of hearing aid seems to come out every year, providing greater amplification in a wider range of circumstances. Further, advances in nanotechnology are making hearing aids smaller and more discreet than ever. So a hearing aid user will often decide to upgrade their devices.
A good hearing instrument specialist will keep you up to date on technological advances and let you test hearing aids that may benefit you. Recent developments have included:
- Hearing aids equipped with directional microphones
- Hearing aids with Bluetooth syncing or wireless streaming capabilities
- Hearing aids with rechargeable batteries
- Hearing aids equipped with tinnitus management tools
Widex will be selling the world’s first battery-free hearing aid beginning the summer of 2019.
The WIDEX EVOKE EC™ hearing aid comes equipped with the smallest commercially available fuel cell. You charge it off the grid—no plug needed—for just 20 seconds. That provides enough re-energizing to power your hearing aid for a full 24 hours!
Proper Care Can Help Your Hearing Aids Last
Given hearing aids are used daily, they can degrade because of wear-and-tear. Because hearing aids are delicate, they can also be injured through any number of mishaps. In many cases, they can be saved with some expert hearing aid repair.
There are also some rules of thumb that can help you use the same hearing aids for as long as possible. Here are just a few tips:
Keep your hearing aids clean. At the end of each day, wipe your hearing aids with a soft, dry cloth to remove accumulated dust, ear wax or debris. A home cleaning kit, with tools like a wax pick and brush, may be helpful. If your hearing aid is muffled or you experience the whistling of feedback, it’s a good indication your hearing aid needs cleaning.
Hearing aids need checkups, too. Even if your hearing aid seems to be in good order, schedule a checkup with your hearing aid specialist every 6 months. They’ll thoroughly clean your hearing aids as well as checking for any issues.
Store your hearing aids properly. Remove your hearing aid batteries each night, place them in a case and store them in a cool, dry space. You may want to invest in a drying kit or hearing aid dehumidifier to keep your hearing aids moisture-free.
Avoid getting your hearing aids wet. Moisture is the enemy of hearing aids, so you’ll want to take them out before you take a shower, wash your hair and face and apply hair products like gels or sprays. Needless to say, your hearing aids should be removed before you go swimming.
If you’re in a heavy downpour, it’s probably best to take out your hearing aids and store them safely. If it’s a light rain, you should be able to wear your hearing aids provided you’re wearing a hat or are carrying an umbrella. The water resistance of various hearing aids differ, so you may want to ask your hearing instrument specialist how best to deal with rainy conditions.
Avoid extreme heat or cold. If temperatures are below freezing, you should take out your hearing aids before scraping ice off your windshield or shoveling your driveway. You should also leave out your hearing aids when using a hairdryer.
Precautions can keep you from dropping your hearing aids. If you’re changing your hearing aid batteries or cleaning your devices, it’s best to do so on a soft surface. One suggestion is to place a folded towel at the bottom of your sink. That way if you drop them they’ll have a soft landing.
Whether you’re looking to get your first hearing aids, get an upgrade or have a hearing instrument specialist clean and repair your hearing aids, Modern Hearing Solutions is ready to meet your needs. Contact us today to make your appointment.