When selecting hearing aids, you want them to last as long as possible. Modern, high-quality hearing aids will typically last for three to seven years, but two people can buy the same hearing aids and have them last quite different amounts of time. So, what can you do to ensure that you get the most out of this expensive investment? 

What to consider when buying hearing aids

Every person’s body is different. For example, your unique body chemistry may be harder on the plastic and metal components of hearing aids due to sweat, or your body produces more oil than another person with the same hearing aids. While you cannot control these things, of course, you should do your best to get answers to the following questions with your health care practitioner when buying your hearing aids:  

  • How often will I need to clean my hearing aids?
  • Where is it safe to wear my hearing aids?
  • How do I store my hearing aids?
  • How often will my hearing aids need cleaning, adjustments, and maintenance?

Armed with answers to these questions, you are one step closer to finding hearing aids that will last the longest, protecting your investment.

What are hearing aids made from?

All hearing aids are designed to be durable and are constructed from the following materials:

  • Plastic
  • Metal
  • Silicone
  • Synthetic polymers

Although hearing aids are generally quite durable, these materials are manufactured and subject to structural degradation over time. They have a protective nano-coating that helps them resist water, dust, and moisture, but regular cleaning is necessary to maintain them and keep them functioning as intended. Dropping a hearing aid could crack it, so handle them carefully to avoid impacts.

Cleaning your hearing aids

You would not dream of going months without washing your hair or hands-and yet, some folks forget that hearing aids are in the same environment as the rest of your body! These devices are sensitive to moisture, dust, skin oils, sweat, extreme cold and heat, and sunlight, and they must contend with the earwax naturally generated in the ear.

Some people who have hearing aids only have them professionally cleaned every six months, but this takes a toll on the devices, and can significantly reduce life expectancy. To help extend the life of your hearing aids, clean them daily as directed by your doctor and have them professionally cleaned at least every three to four months.

Hearing aids and Florida weather

The environment can affect the performance of your hearing aids. In a humid climate like South Florida, you may experience performance problems. You can purchase a dehumidifying case, a protective case or ensure you have them professionally cleaned more frequently to extend the lifespan of your devices. We always take lifestyle and environment into account at The Barranco Clinic and make recommendations based on your specific needs.

How should I store my hearing aids to extend their life?

The way you store your hearing aids when you are not wearing them can help extend your hearing aid life expectancy. Most hearing aids use either disposable batteries or, if rechargeable, lithium batteries. In addition, each brand and style hearing aid have specific maintenance needs.

  • If your hearing aids use disposable batteries, storing with the battery door open will keep them safer. A case equipped with a dehumidifier keeps the devices drier so they last longer. 
  • If your hearing aids use lithium batteries, know that these batteries last about four to five years. Like your smartphone, the lithium battery lifespan gets shorter the longer you own and use your hearing aids. 

How often will my hearing aids need maintenance or updates?

Most hearing aids have some readily-replaceable parts like wax guards, earmold tubing, and silicone dome earpieces, and repairable features like battery doors, earmolds, external speakers, and microphone covers. These repairs and replacements can be addressed in routine maintenance visits with your hearing care practitioner and can help your hearing aids last longer.

Your hearing loss could progress to the point where you need a more powerful hearing aid, or your current devices need to be adjusted. You could have lifestyle changes and need a hearing aid with unique features. Whatever the reason you might have to replace your hearing aids while they are still functional, your hearing care practitioner at The Barranco Clinic can often assist you in donating your used hearing aids to a worthy cause!

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