Frequently at our audiology and hearing aid centers in Fairfield County, patients ask us how long their hearing aids will last. Folks want to know when they are going to have to replace their hearing aids and invest in another set. There are many factors that affect the lifespan of hearing aids. The short answer is "in four to ten years." Let's unpack that very wide range of time.
Are your Current Hearing Aids Broken?
Hearing aids come with one to three years of warranty. During the warranty period, they can be repaired if broken, or replaced if lost. If a hearing aid is lost outside of the warranty period, of course, it has to be replaced.
Hearing aid companies usually keep parts and pieces to repair aids for eight to ten years. If the hearing aid breaks out of warranty, we can usually get the hearing aid repaired for a cost of $250 and up. After about 8 years, we expect that the lab will not carry the parts any more and we will have to start talking about new instruments.
If a hearing aid is damaged or crushed and needs to be completely remade, the cost is often in the $500 range. With this sort of investment, it is also a good time to talk about considering new aids instead of putting that investment into older technology.
Do You Like Your Current Aids?
After four or five years, the hearing aid companies have put out enough new generations of technology that you will probably hear an improvement in sound quality and enjoy the benefits of more features available. However, if you are still happy with your hearing aids, you should keep them! If a patient comes to our office unhappy with their sound quality, and it has been four or five years since their last set, it is probably time for a conversation about new aids.
Have Your Needs (Physical or Hearing) Changed?
Occasionally, a person’s hearing changes to the point that his or her current aids can’t be adjusted to accommodate their hearing loss. Alternatively, a person's hearing needs may change because of a change in living situation. We see people go from living alone to living with adult children and grandchildren: a certainly change in listening environment that may demand more sophisticated technology for noise reduction!
We also see folks with changing physical needs. If there is a progressive arthritis or Parkinson's disease, small hearing aids that were once manageable may need to be replaced due to manual dexterity issues. A larger hearing aid with larger batteries may be a change that improves ease of use and quality of life.
At our audiology and hearing aid centers, we are proud to have patients who have ten-year-old hearing aids! It is a sign of success and durability of our fittings. However, we are open to a frank and honest conversation about what is new. So when you pursue your new set of aids, keep your eyes on the horizon four to ten years down the road for replacements. We offer audiology and hearing aid services in Danbury, New Milford and Norwalk, CT.