When Should I Update My Hearing Aids?

When Should I Update My Hearing Aids?

Hearing aids are somewhat like laptop computers and smartphones. The technology moves pretty quickly, and you may replace them either due to damage or the new availability of superior tech.

How Long Do Hearing Aids Last?

In general, a pair of hearing aids lasts between 3–7 years, though some can last longer. That’s a pretty wide range! The range is so wide because everyone’s ears are different, and one person’s body chemistry may be harder on a set of hearing aids than another’s. What’s more, one person’s lifestyle may expose their hearing aids to more environmental moisture or perspiration than another’s. While it’s impossible to say exactly how long a new set of hearing aids will last, the way you use them, the humidity of your daily environments, and your individual body chemistry may give you a clue.

When a hearing aid breaks down, some people may choose to upgrade their hearing aids rather than seek a repair once they are out of warranty. This can be a good decision, but should probably depend on the type of repair required, the likelihood of needing additional repairs soon, and whether significantly improved technology is available or likely to become available soon. This is a decision you may want to make with the help of your hearing care provider.

While a broken hearing aid out of warranty is always a time to consider an upgrade, there are other situations when you might want to consider upgrading, even if your current hearing aids are working as intended.

Your Hearing Needs Change

Age-related hearing loss tends to progress for a while, then plateau. The place it plateaus is different for everyone, and it’s impossible to know in advance where that will be. If you purchased your hearing aids while you had mild or moderate hearing loss, further changes in your hearing ability might require additional amplification that your current hearing aids cannot provide.

Your Lifestyle Changes

When you got your current hearing aids, you probably had a conversation with your hearing care provider about your hearing needs. What situations caused the most problems? What kinds of activities did you enjoy, but had become harder since hearing loss came into the picture? The hearing aids you got then were based on your needs at that time. It may be that a new job, a new living situation, or a new partner might indicate a need for a change in what your hearing aids can do for you, and that might mean an upgrade.

The Technology Changes

If you purchased your hearing aids some time ago, you might be surprised at what the current generation of hearing aids could do for you! Hearing aids are getting better and better at emphasizing speech over background sound, making sound localization easier, and even automatically switching programming as you move through different environments, making it more possible than ever before to simply put your hearing aids in and forget about them!

Most hearing aids now incorporate Bluetooth technology, which allows them to connect wirelessly to smartphones and other devices. With Bluetooth, you can stream phone calls and media directly to your hearing aids, and also use manufacturers’ apps to control the programming and other dimensions of your hearing aids. You can even take a hearing test through your hearing aids, and have your hearing care provider update your programming right through the app!

Considering Cleaning or Repair

A professional cleaning can make a significant improvement in the performance of your hearing aids, while at the same time helping to extend their lifespan. Over time, moisture and debris accumulate in a set of hearing aids. A professional cleaning will remove nearly 100% of moisture and debris, allowing your hearing aids to function like new again. Most people notice an improvement in the sound quality, and the process will help prevent rust and stress throughout the hearing aid. Even if you don’t intend to keep the same set of hearing aids for ten years, keeping your hearing aids in good shape will help them provide better care while you have them, and can make them a better candidate for donation when you do upgrade.