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How long do hearing aids last?

Last update on May, 31, 2024

When choosing a pair of hearing aids, there are several questions to keep in mind as you consider your options: Do these hearing aids fit comfortably in my ears? Does the style align with my lifestyle? Do they meet my hearing loss needs? It’s also important to consider another question as you determine what hearing aids work best for you: How long do hearing aids last?

While hearing aids don’t last forever, ensuring they receive the required maintenance -- as included with hearing aids purchased from Miracle-Ear, can help extend their longevity. Still, daily wear and tear, materials and fit puts the average hearing aid lifespan at three to seven years. Keep reading to learn more about the factors that affect your hearing aids’ lifespan, the signs you may need to replace your devices and the ways you can take care of your hearing aids.

What is the average lifespan of hearing aids?

The estimated average hearing aid lifespan is about three to seven years. This may seem like a short amount of time given the investment, but consider the complexity of modern hearing aids. Most devices include powerful technology that must work together perfectly to address your hearing loss needs, and these pieces can wear out over time.

The lifespan of your hearing aids can also vary greatly depending on the materials with which they’re made, the style of the device, how often they’re cleaned and your degree of hearing loss. Some may find that their hearing aids continue to function well after seven years, while others may need repairs or replacements sooner. 

hearing care professional at store

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What factors affect how long hearing aids last?

How long your hearing aid functions well depends on several key factors. Learn more about what may affect your device’s lifespan.

Because of their regular exposure to skin oil, earwax, moisture, dust and debris, hearing aids are designed to be incredibly durable and withstand the wear and tear of daily use. The exterior of hearing aids are generally covered in a protective coating to prevent moisture and debris from disrupting the sensitive technology housed within the device, and high-quality devices can keep this degradation at bay for longer.

However, they’re still ultimately made of plastic, silicone, metal and other materials that can degrade with time

Your hearing aids’ battery type may also have an effect on the longevity of your devices. So, how long do hearing aid batteries last? Lithium-ion batteries, the type used in rechargeable hearing aids, last four to five years, on average. However, the battery lifespan often decreases the longer you own the device.

Speak with your hearing care professional (HCP) if you notice your battery is draining more quickly than normal. They will be able to advise on whether your device simply needs new batteries or if the hearing aid itself needs to be replaced.

Alternatively, hearing aid users with disposable zinc air batteries don’t have to worry about how the battery will affect the overall lifespan of their hearing aids—but the tradeoff is that you must regularly replace the batteries to keep your device functioning. The lifespan for a disposable hearing aid battery depends on how often the device is used and how much power the device requires.

Miracle-Ear offers both rechargeable and disposable battery options for users, providing hearing aid models designed to support all lifestyles and hearing loss needs.

Because of their position inside and on the ear, hearing aids are regularly exposed to all types of oils, debris and wear throughout the day. Incorporating regular hearing aid cleaning and maintenance techniques into your daily routine not only cleans off these irritants for your next use but could also extend the lifespan of your hearing aids and prevent buildup from disrupting the technology inside the devices.

Hearing aids should be cleaned daily with a focus on removing moisture and earwax. Here is a basic hearing aid cleaning routine:

  • At night, wipe down the entire hearing aid with a soft cloth to remove any wax or debris from the day.
  • Remove the batteries and leave the battery door open if your device uses disposable batteries. If you have rechargeable batteries, place your hearing aids in their charger.
  • Store the hearing aids in a cool, dry place overnight.
  • In the morning, use a pick or a brush to remove any excess earwax

Depending on your style of device, you may need to take additional steps to properly clean your hearing aids. Some parts of hearing aids can be replaced easily, including wax guards, tubing and dome earpieces. Your HCP can teach you proper at-home cleaning techniques, as well as help replace and readjust these pieces during routine maintenance and tune-up visits. 

The style of your hearing aids and where they sit in your ears can also affect the lifespan of your devices. As a general rule, behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids tend to last longer than in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids.

ITE hearing aids can last four to five years, while BTE hearing aids can have a five- to six-year lifespan. Because the key technology components of ITE devices are housed in the damp environment of the ear canal, these devices can degrade faster than BTE hearing styles that sit behind the outer ear. However, with the help of specialized protective coating on ITE styles and proper daily cleaning, this difference in lifespan can be managed. 

Some people have very oily skin, produce excessive earwax or sweat heavily—it’s just a fact of life. The damaging effects of moisture and wax on hearing aids over time can decrease the lifespan of your hearing aids. While these natural, physiological responses can’t be controlled, your HCP will be able to recommend hearing aid options and cleaning techniques to prevent excess wear on your devices. 

Hearing aid technology has progressed significantly from the larger, bulky models of the past—and while having the latest technology in your hearing aids isn’t a necessity, it sure is nice. Older models also tend to have outdated operating systems that might not be able to keep up with your needs, which may inherently cut the lifespan of the product short.

By comparison, today’s newest models are not only smaller and more discreet than previous designs; they also include more powerful technology features designed to address your specific hearing loss needs and last longer.

What Can I Do With Bluetooth Hearing Aids?

What Can I Do With Bluetooth Hearing Aids?

Learn about Bluetooth hearing aids! With Bluetooth® technology, your hearing aids become a gateway to a richer life.

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How long do hearing aid batteries last?

The lifespan of your hearing aid batteries depends greatly on what type of batteries your hearing aid requires. Rechargeable hearing aids, which recharge using micro USB chargers or electromagnetic induction, offer 19-24 hours of use out of a single overnight charge.

Disposable hearing aids, on the other hand, can last anywhere from three to 22 days, depending on the type of hearing aid, the battery type and how often the hearing aid is used. The larger and more powerful the hearing aid, the more frequently you may be changing out batteries.

How often should hearing aids be replaced?

While the average lifespan for your hearing aids is three to seven years, it’s only a recommendation. If your hearing aids are continuing to provide the hearing loss support you need and you’re happy with the features they include, it’s not necessary to replace your devices right away. Other people value having the latest technology available so may choose to upgrade sooner. Regardless, once you begin to notice that your hearing aids aren’t functioning to their full extent, it’s time to consider replacing the devices.  

BTE hearing aids on a book

Need help with your hearing device?

If you’re having trouble with placing your hearing aids or removing them, don’t settle for a frustrating experience. Free lifetime aftercare is part of every Miracle-Ear purchase, and your hearing care professional (HCP) is there to help you with any challenges—no matter how small. Contact your neighborhood Miracle-Ear hearing center or stop by to get the help you need.

Signs to replace your hearing aids

While there may be no set lifespan for your hearing aids, it’s important to recognize these common hearing aid issues—they may be signs that it’s time to get new hearing aids. 

If you notice that you’re once again turning up the volume on the television or you’re struggling to hear in noisy environments, it’s not necessarily that your hearing aid is not working. Your hearing needs might simply have changed. Your HCP will be able to determine how much your hearing loss has changed from the last time your hearing aids were programmed.

Even if your hearing has changed, you may not need new hearing aids. If the change in your hearing is only minor, you may only need your HCP to reprogram or tune up your devices rather than having to upgrade to an entirely new pair. 

Changes in your health from the last time your hearing aids were adjusted may also warrant replacing your devices. Age-related hearing loss, or presbycusis, can worsen your hearing over time and potentially require hearing aids. Aging may also influence your dexterity, making it more difficult to maneuver small, discreet hearing aids into your ears or change your batteries. By switching out your devices, you can choose a pair of hearing aids that not only meets your new hearing loss needs but can also be used easily.

If you begin to experience tinnitus or Meniere’s Disease, an inner ear disorder that causes dizziness, tinnitus and hearing loss, you may want to consider adding sound therapy features to your hearing aids. Discuss your condition with your HCP, who may be able to reset your hearing aids to include tinnitus masking programs or refit new hearing aids to help manage your symptoms.

Hearing aid not working? Thanks to daily wear and tear, damage from ear wax and exposure to moisture, the key parts that make up your hearing aids may start to break down and not perform as well as they once did. If you notice your hearing aids aren’t picking up sounds as well as they once did or noises aren’t amplified properly, it might be a sign that your devices might not be functioning at their best.

Depending on the repairs needed for your hearing aids and when they were purchased, you may be able to take advantage of a warranty to repair or replace the malfunctioning items in your hearing aids.

Are you more or less physically active than you were before? Do you spend more time enjoying your hobbies, such as spending time outdoors? Are you regularly watching TV or calling family? If your lifestyle has changed, your hearing aids may need to change with you.

By upgrading your hearing aids, you can take advantage of new technology that can accommodate these lifestyle changes. Whether that’s new programs to suppress wind noise for time outdoors or new waterproof hearing aids to enjoy a day on the boat, replacing your hearing aids can support your hearing journey while you continue to enjoy your favorite activities. 

Hearing aid technology is constantly evolving. Modern hearing aids now include technology that allows Bluetooth connectivity, improved programs to seamlessly adjust to any listening environment and enhanced speakers to pick up on more conversation. By replacing your hearing aids, you can take advantage of new technology—like rechargeable, waterproof or Bluetooth hearing aids—to stay connected to your world
Couple in the bathroom

Experiencing hearing loss symptoms?

If you are experiencing hearing loss symptoms—whether or not they are related to excessive earwax—a Miracle-Ear hearing aid center specialist can help. Find a Miracle-Ear near you and start down the path toward improved hearing today.

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