Technology marches forward. Are your hearing aids keeping up? Here’s how to tell if you need to invest in newer hearing aid technology.
Annie L. Messmer, Doctor of Audiology
Do you remember when your first hearing aids were turned on? It might have been a lot of sound at first but eventually, you got used to it. Think about the sounds you realized you were missing before you had them, the clarity of conversations and ease of listening afterward. Like all things, however, time begins to take its toll - even when it comes to hearing aids. Technology continues to advance, and if you’ve had your hearing aids for a while, are you sure they're still working the way they used to?
Our contact team speaks to people throughout the nation. We’ve found that many individuals with hearing loss regret not getting their first pair of hearing aids sooner. Hearing loss that goes untreated only speeds up the rate of deterioration, something that cannot be reversed once damaged. If you haven’t had your hearing tested or if you haven't upgraded your current pair of hearing aids in the past few years, you’d be surprised by the quality of sound you could be hearing.
Average Lifespan of a Hearing Aid
Did you know that the average hearing aid lifespan is between 3 to 7 years? Hearing aids do not last forever; they have a finite lifespan. They are mini computers that deteriorate over time. When a hearing instrument, product, or specific model stops working reliably, you would benefit from new hearing aids
Variables that Affect the Lifespan of the Product
Your body acts like a sauna on your hearing aids by creating an environment that’s high in moisture, heat, and wax. These factors affect your device on a daily basis. How well your hearing aid survives depends on:
- How well the device is built
- How well it is maintained
- How much wear and tear it experiences
Signs Your Hearing Aids are Due for an Upgrade
Which of these applies to you?
- Your hearing aids are older than 4 years.
- You are not hearing as well as you used to with your current hearing aids.
- New technology exists that might be more beneficial to your current hearing needs.
- You have had a significant change in lifestyle, job, or daily activity levels.
Changes in Job or Lifestyle
A change in lifestyle merits changing your hearing aid too. Many people joke that they are busier after they retire than while they were working, and you need hearing aids that will not keep you from doing what you love. Perhaps you fell in love with a new partner and wish to undertake new social activities, from dining in restaurants to dancing at the club or going on new outdoor adventures
. All these activities require a device that will adapt to new noise environments and that won’t encumber you.
If you’ve added new activities to your week, let your audiologist know that you would like your hearing aids to fit in better with your new lifestyle. Woodworking, swimming
, hiking and horseback riding can all affect the performance of hearing aids. For these activities and more, you’ll need hearing aids that can keep up with your active lifestyle.
What about if you work at one of the top 20 loudest jobs with increased chances of hearing loss
? You may be working with kids, battling background noise at a restaurant, handle heavy machinery, while having to maintain focus throughout the day. What would it mean to you to have a device that will perform the way it’s supposed to?
Whatever your reason for an upgrade, weigh the pros and cons carefully so you can make an educated choice.
Why Upgrade Your Life but Not Your Hearing Aids?
When it comes to consumer electronics and household goods, most people are able to see the value in spending a little more for a superior quality. The same logic should definitely be applied when contemplating which hearing aids to purchase. After consulting with a hearing specialist and hearing their recommendation, the most important thing is choosing the pair that will fit your lifestyle, hearing needs, and budget.
Whether you need more power, functionalities, or flexibility, your hearing may change over time to the point where it's beyond the range of your current model. The newest models will even connect wirelessly to electronic equipment around you, including smartphones, audio equipment, or TV.
Speak with a professional about new hearing aid options.
If you're experiencing difficulty with your hearing aids, don't wait to reach out to your local audiologist or hearing aid specialist. To schedule a visit with a hearing professional near you use our Clinic Locator function
You can also fill out a request
to be contacted by one of our hearing consultants to begin scheduling your visit to a hearing professional to have your hearing tested and discuss the hearing aid solutions
available to you.
About the Author
Annie L. Messmer, Au.D.Dr. Annie Messmer is a certified audiologist with a degree from Northwestern University and over 10 years of experience working with patients of all ages. She has also trained numerous hearing care professionals on audiology best practices and the latest hearing technology.