When Should I Update My Hearing Aids?

When Should I Update My Hearing Aids?

If you are the owner of a new pair of hearing aids, congratulations! You can look forward to a long time using these devices to improve your quality of life and communication ability. Your aids are precisely designed to accommodate your condition, and that personalization is crucial to giving you a better hearing profile while preventing further damage to your ears. If you have begun to use your new hearing aids, you might be curious how long you can expect these devices to last. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Many people find that they use their hearing aids for five years or longer, while others need to get a new pair of hearing aids earlier than that five-year mark. Rather than a simple number, we can look at the variety of reasons that a person might need to get new hearing aids. The following are some of the issues that can necessitate new hearing aids, so keep these in mind going forward. 

Damage or Malfunction

One of the most common reasons that hearing aids need to be replaced is damage or malfunction that is not worth repairing. Although many issues of functionality can be addressed in your hearing aids, some of these repairs are costly. Most of the simple repairs that can be done locally are worth doing, and those repairs might not cost much at all. However, serious damage can require repairs that cost nearly as much as a new pair of hearing aids. In those cases when hearing aids are already a bit older or the loss/damage warranty has been used, many people opt to get a newer model of hearing aid that will continue to function longer into the future, often with additional features. 

Changes in Hearing Ability

Although your hearing aids might be helping you communicate better, you are wise to continue to get regular hearing tests. These tests will show changes in your hearing ability that might require more advanced treatment. If you notice that your hearing is worse than it used to be, particularly when you’re not wearing your aids, then it is time to get a hearing test. Many hearing aids can be adjusted to meet a variety of needs, but others can’t accommodate severe or profound hearing impairment, for example. In this case, the right solution might be to get a new pair of hearing aids that are up to the task. 

Changes in Hearing Aid Functionality

Although your hearing aids might be working to provide you with basic treatment, hearing assistive technology is changing all the time. When hearing aids advance, you might find yourself wanting to get a new pair of hearing aids, even if the older model is still functional. For instance, changes in Digital Signal Processors (DSPs) can make the audio quality better than ever before. If you notice that background noise is distracting with your old hearing aids or that you have trouble identifying the voice of a person speaking, then an updated model of hearing aid might be able to provide you with the help you need to communicate clearly. 

New features might be so appealing that you want to integrate them into your life. One of the best developments in hearing assistive technology of the last years has been Bluetooth connectivity. Not only do these features make it possible to integrate your hearing aids with media, phone notifications, and calls, but you can also manipulate the settings of your hearing aids on your smartphone or other devices. Features like Bluetooth connectivity might make your hearing aids so effective and seamlessly woven into your life that you are ready to get a new pair even when the old pair continues to function. Having an old pair that still works is also a great idea as a back-up in case your new hearing aids are out of commission for any reason. You can also always talk to us about a loaner if your device is out for repair. 

If you are interested in new hearing aids for any of these reasons, the first step is to contact our offices. We will likely want to perform an updated hearing test to make sure we are recommending the right type of hearing aid for your needs. Once we connect you with the right hearing aids, we can facilitate the process of dispensing and fitting your new aids.

Kenneth H. Wood, BC-HIS

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