Hearing aids are an essential part of living with hearing loss. Like other devices, they have a finite lifespan, but how do you know when it is time to upgrade? Here are some things to consider:
What is the Typical Lifespan of Hearing Aids?
On average, most hearing aids last three to five years. With proper maintenance, you can usually keep a pair for five to seven years. In our office, we find most of our patients are able to keep their hearing aids a little longer.
Hearing aids ultimately wear out because of the moisture and temperature they are exposed to. Rechargeable hearing aids will eventually experience battery failure, much like a cell phone, and it may or may not be worth replacing the battery. However, you might want to consider upgrading your hearing aids faster.
Why Should You Upgrade Your Hearing Aids?
There are many reasons you might want to upgrade your hearing aids even if they are still working fine. They include:
- Improvements in technology. Hearing aids are being improved all the time, and your existing aids might become obsolete. You may also be able to replace them with devices that are more comfortable. Modern hearing aids have better feedback control, better noise control, and work with your brain better.
- Changes in your hearing. Although recalibration can help your existing hearing aids keep up, you may eventually need to update if you have progressive hearing loss.
- You need to connect to new devices. Modern hearing aids can connect to your TV, smartphone, computer, etc. If your existing aids aren’t compatible with the technology you use, it might be worth considering a replacement.
Medical research has shown that better hearing equates to better brain health; numerous studies have shown that there is a significant relationship between hearing loss and cognitive impairment. Older adults with hearing loss have a 24% greater risk of dementia.
What Should You Do With Your Old Hearing Aids?
If your old hearing aids are no longer working, then your best option is to recycle them. It would be best if you did not put old hearing aids in the regular trash. If they are still functional or need only minor repairs, then you have several options:
- You can keep them as a backup. While they might not be quite up to your needs anymore, you can use them if you have to send your new aids in for repair.
- You can donate them to charity. Some charities will take older hearing aids, refurbish them, and then give them to people with limited finances.
- You can trade them in. Your old hearing aids might be good enough for another patient with less profound hearing loss.
You should consider replacing your hearing aids either if they are needing a lot of repairs and approaching the end of their life or if you would benefit from an upgrade.