Today's hearing aids are designed to be durable to fit your lifestyle. Hearing aid materials range from plastic, metal, silicon, polymers and other materials that may be subject to some degree of structural degradation over time. Most hearing aids sold today have a protective nanocoating on them to resist water, dust and moisture.
Hearing aids are exposed to moisture, dust, skin oils, sweat, extreme temperatures, and sunlight. All this occurs in addition to the earwax generated by the ear canal in its natural cleaning process. Therefore, poor hearing aid cleaning habits can take a toll and significantly reduce their life expectancy. To help increase your hearing aid's life expectancy, you should clean your hearing aid daily as directed by hearing care practitioner and we reccommend having them professionally cleaned in the hearing clinic every three to four months.
Generally accepted in the hearing aid industry, behind-the-ear (BTE) styles tend to have a longer lifespan than the in-the-ear (ITE) styles. This is likely because more electronic components are sitting in the damp environment of your ear canal with ITE styles. However, recent technical advancements in nanocoatings on internal and external components may soon make this durability difference a thing of the past.
Somebody chemistries are harder on the plastic and metal components of hearing aids and tend to discolor or degrade parts much faster than others. In addition, some people are more prone to oily skin or excess earwax or sweat–all of these factors can impact hearing aid life. Unfortunately, these things can't be controlled. While it may be embarrassing to mention, it's important to note any natural tendencies that may affect your hearing aid choice to your hearing care provider.
Like any other piece of technology these days, hearing aid manufacturers are constantly making advancements to enhance the features and functionality of their hearing aids. Because advancements are happening so rapidly, hearing aid manufacturers may stop making replacement parts for a particular aid after several years (usually between 5-10 years), making repairs on old hearing aids difficult or impossible. Software used to program hearing aids also changes over time and eventually becomes obsolete. This often makes it difficult to reprogram older hearing aids.
Your changing needs can also affect how long hearing aids last. For example, the severity of your hearing loss may change over time, and your hearing care provider may recommend a different type, style, or brand of hearing aid. Additionally, your lifestyle needs may change over time, and you may want more—or fewer—features.