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How Long Do Hearing Aids Last? Replacing Hearing Aids
There are lots of benefits to wearing hearing aids, and they’ll last as long as you look after them.
If you suffer from hearing loss, using hearing aids means you’ll be able to hear all the wonderful sounds of life again, from the voices of your loved ones to your favourite music, TV programmes and films — even the general background noises of life.
Like any piece of electronic equipment, hearing aids require special care and attention so they don’t get damaged or destroyed. If you’re new to this technology, you may be asking “how long do hearing aids last?”
Will they last a lifetime, for instance, or stop working after 12 months, meaning you could have to get new ones?
Let’s take a look at hearing aids, how they help those with hearing loss and how to care for them so they remain in top working condition for as long as possible. We’ll also explore how long you can expect your hearing aids to last for.
Issues Related to Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is common in the UK and around the world. Here, it’s estimated that around 11 million people are affected by the condition, which works out to around one in six of the adult population. And they’re not all elderly either — around 4.4 million people in the UK that have some degree of hearing difficulty are of working age.
It can be described as an invisible disability because, unless you know someone has a hearing problem, you won’t know what they’re going through.
Not being able to hear properly shuts people off from all kinds of work, social and other activities, and it can make their lives a misery. Being hearing impaired, to even a mild degree, can affect your mental health, but also your general wellbeing and your physical health. For example, hearing loss is associated with diabetes, anaemia, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease and sleep apnea. People that have hearing loss can also experience problems with their balance that can put them at risk of falls and injury.
Thankfully, help is at hand, in the form of a small device in or around your ear that can restore your hearing and give you back your quality of life.
Advantages of Wearing Hearing Aids
Wearing a hearing aid not only restores your audio capabilities and lets you get on with your life unhindered, but the benefits ripple out way beyond your ears. If you’re in employment, for instance, you’re now more likely to earn more because people with untreated hearing loss lose tens of thousands from their pay packet each year.
Hearing loss can put your career at risk because you’re not getting the promotions you want so that you advance. Instead of climbing up the career ladder, you’re stuck on it or even going backwards. Regaining your hearing capabilities with hearing aids can fix your career prospects along with your hearing.
Hearing aids can also help alleviate the symptoms of tinnitus, a buzzing, humming or ringing in the ears that’s not actually a condition itself, but related to something else — like gradual hearing loss or an injury or damage to some part of the ear. Some hearing aids are specially designed to help restore hearing loss and eliminate tinnitus, and they may have a white noise feature to cancel it out. As hearing aids become ever more technologically advanced and powerful, it’s also possible to have models with different relief sounds that you can select via an app on your phone and switch between when you feel like it. This reduces — and can also eliminate — the stress from tinnitus.
It’s suggested that wearing certain hearing aids can slow the process of cognitive decline, which is when you have trouble with memory, concentrating, decision-making and other types of mental impairment that many people suffer from as they get older. This, according to research, is due to the auditory parts of the brain no longer being able to fully comprehend speech thanks to hearing loss. Hearing aids will give you back this ability and can even help you to remember where you put those keys.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
Not all instances of hearing loss are permanent. Some can be temporary, and hearing loss can happen instantly or develop over time — as is usually the case with age-related hearing impairment. You may have trouble hearing people speak in places that are noisy and think nothing of it — because it’s just the racket all around — but if you find you’re having to turn the volume on the TV way up because you can’t hear it properly, it may be a sign that you’re losing your hearing.
Hearing loss can be caused by something as simple and easy to clear up as too much earwax, or it could be more problematic such as with a perforated or burst eardrum. This is the thin lining of tissue between the ear canal and the middle ear that performs a critical part of the hearing process. When sounds hit the eardrum it vibrates (by billionths of an inch!) causing the sound to move on to the middle ear and a part of the brain known as the auditory cortex that processes sound. A burst eardrum can heal on its own (over several weeks), or in more serious cases, it might require surgery.
Age-related hearing loss is generally caused by the death of hair cells in the ear that also play a pivotal role in hearing. It can be due to changes in the ear as people get older, but there can also be genetic factors if hearing-loss runs in the family. Loud noise can also damage hearing, as most people know, and smokers are more likely to have impaired hearing due to not having enough oxygen in their system — secondhand smoke is also a risk factor.
So How Long Do Hearing Aids Last?
As we have seen, hearing aids bring so many benefits to wearers beyond the initial purpose of restoring hearing, and you’ll get lots of use out of them as long as you look after them. Generally, you can expect to get around five years or more from your hearing aids, but it depends on a lot of factors. If you don’t take good care of them, or receive poor service from your provider, it could be a lot less, such as three years or so.
After all, hearing aids are small electronic devices containing sensitive elements that are on and working for a large part of the day. During that time, they’re subjected to substances like oil, sweat, dust and dirt that could impact the way they work and potentially cause them to fail. They also experience different environments that could affect them, like hot and cold and also wet and dry.
Try to keep your hearing aids away from heat and also moisture — as these are not good for electronic equipment — and clean them regularly so that there’s no buildup of substances that could cause them to malfunction. It’s a good idea not to use various hair products (such as hairspray) while wearing hearing aids, as this could also damage the internal workings. You should go back to your hearing aid provider every few months and have your hearing aids professionally cleaned so that they remain in perfect working order. Make sure you check the costs associated with this before choosing where to purchase – beware hidden fees and read the small print. Aftercare service is paramount and can vary greatly depending where you go.
You could also consider investing in a small humidifier that you could place your hearing aids in at night when you’re not using them. This would extract built-up moisture in the devices and help to protect the electronic parts from being damaged. Some of the advanced rechargeable hearing aids currently in the market come with dehumidifying benefits built directly into the chargers. Clever stuff.
Hearing aids are a lifesaver for people all around the UK and indeed the entire world. They give you back your hearing, and there’s almost no fuss involved in using them. They have the power to restore social, work and other aspects of your life that may have dropped off as your hearing started to fail.
It all makes hearing aids a really sound investment in your life.
Hearing aid replacements can even provide long-term wearers with a new lease on life. Get your new hearing aids in UK today.