There’s one important question that almost everyone who wears hearing aids faces sooner or later: “Is it time for new hearing aids?”
According to national statistics, most hearing aids have an average lifespan of three to five years. Lots of factors can affect the lifespan of your hearing aids though. These include the make and model of your hearing aids, changes in your hearing, and most importantly, how well you take care of them.
At Associated Audiologists, the average lifespan of our patients’ hearing aids is five to seven years. We have found our patients’ hearing aids last longer because they: a) purchase quality technology; b) routinely follow up with our audiologists for service, checks and cleaning; and c) are very careful to take care of their hearing aids in between regular check-ups.
But, if you’re noticing a problem with your hearing aids, or your hearing aids are older than five to seven years, it might be time to think about a new pair. Here are five things consider if you’re thinking about replacing your hearing aids:
1. Change in Your Health or Hearing
As we age, it’s common for there to be changes in our health or hearing from time to time. If you’ve had a recent change in your health or the medications you take to manage a health condition, it might be a good idea to have your hearing re-evaluated. If you’re noticing that you aren’t hearing as well as you once were, that’s also a good time to get your hearing checked. Depending on the current hearing technology you have, the audiologist may be able to make adjustments to accommodate changes to your hearing. But, if that’s not possible, it might mean it’s time to look for new hearing aids.
2. Your Attitude Toward Hearing Aids Has Changed
When many people purchase their first pair of hearing aids, they’re reluctant to do so. Because they haven’t worn hearing aids before, they aren’t sure if they will help or not. Often, as patients get used to wearing their hearing aids, they see how valuable they are to being able to remain active and engaged in life. That often means when these patients purchase their next pair of hearing aids, they see the value they bring to their lives, and are now more interested in additional features or upgrades.
3. Advances in Technology
Technology continues to evolve, and so do hearing aids. If you’re having trouble understanding speech, if you’re experiencing noise problems, and if filtering out unwanted background noise are problems, then it may be time to upgrade your hearing technology.
Hearing aids do more than simply amplify sounds. They include digital, adaptive, directional microphones to help pinpoint the speech you want to hear and impulse reduction to soften annoying, excessive sounds.
Does your current device connect wirelessly or over Bluetooth? Can you connect it with multiple devices in your home? These are just some of the perks included in new hearing aid technology. The latest models are compatible with several electronics: smartphones, televisions, telephones, so you can enjoy hearing with more ease.
New advancements can better process sound with features that enhance comprehension and connect to other electronic devices. If you’re missing some of these features now, it could be
time to upgrade. The mechanics and processing involved in hearing devices continue to improve with technological advancements. Smarter features in new hearing technology are worthwhile to improve your hearing.
4. Costly Repairs Start Adding Up
Sometimes it makes more sense to replace the device outright. An older model may require extensive feature maintenance. Perhaps the device itself is no longer available or discontinued—as devices get older, it becomes harder to repair or replace broken components. Fixing devices could end up costing you more for models that are no longer in circulation and you may be missing out on better hearing.
If the manufacturer doesn’t supply the parts anymore, this is a very good indicator it’s time for new aids. Purchasing new aids that are compatible with today’s technology may be your best option.
Think about the durability of your current hearing technology. Is it easily susceptible to dirt or moisture damage? New devices are made to better withstand these elements, becoming more secure with improved design durability. Today’s hearing aids include a variety of new options starting with basics such as color, fitting, style, and more.
5. Change in Lifestyle Habits
As your lifestyle, occupation and hobbies change, you need hearing aids that keep up with them. Perhaps your first hearing aids were for a quiet lifestyle, but now you work in a noisy environment. Maybe you’ve recently moved and live in a more active, demanding social atmosphere requiring more of your hearing. These are just a few signs that it’s time for an upgrade to ensure you have the best fit.
If you’ve experience one or more of these issues, it may be time to talk about new hearing aid technology. Like many forms of technology that rely on computer microchips, hearing aid features improve with each new generation. Talk with you audiologist about which technology is best suited to your hearing loss, lifestyle and budget. You’ll be glad you did.