When Should I Update My Hearing Aids?

When Should I Update My Hearing Aids?

Bonnie L. Baehr, Au.D. Uncategorized

Bonnie L. Baehr, Au.D.

High quality hearing aids are built to deliver great performance and durability, but just like everything else, they don’t last forever. Knowing the right time to update your hearing aids can depend on a few different factors. Sometimes, even when your hearing devices are working just fine, it may be to your advantage to update your hearing aids. In other cases, changes to your hearing or wear and tear on your hearing aids may mean a change is necessary.

Device Malfunction

Hearing aids are designed to meet the demanding environment of the ear canal and deliver reliable sound for around 3 to 7 years. With proper maintenance and attention, some devices can even last longer. That said, there is no point in hanging on to a hearing aid that is no longer functioning properly. 

If your device is not performing on the level it used to it is time to talk to your hearing specialist. They can help you assess the state of your hearing aid and whether repairing or replacing the hearing aid makes more sense. Some common technical issues with hearing aids can be repaired cheaply and easily. When external material breaks down, the replacements can be ready quickly and get your device back on its feet. 

Internal malfunctioning may develop through wear and tear over time and is much less cost-effective to repair. If your hearing device is experiencing problems that cannot be addressed in an efficient and affordable way, it is most likely time to invest in new hearing aids.

Your Hearing Is Changing

One reason it is important to check in with your hearing specialist about issues with your hearing aid is that sometimes those “device issues” are caused by changes to your hearing! While hearing aids are programmed to address the specific configuration of your hearing loss, and they can mitigate some of the health risks untreated hearing loss provokes, further hearing loss can still occur to the way you hear.

In a best case scenario, hearing changes you experience can be dealt with through reprogramming your hearing aids to meet your new hearing challenges. However, if your hearing worsens, your current device may not be appropriate for your hearing loss. Sometimes, if your degree of hearing loss shifts, you will be better served by a stronger device. For example, in-the-canal hearing aids used to treat moderate hearing loss can’t always offer the amplification needed to treat severe hearing loss. Depending on how your hearing loss progresses, a new hearing aid may well be your best treatment path when your hearing changes.

Your Life Is Changing

Sometimes, nothing is amiss with the way your hearing aids are performing, but a new job or endeavor changes your needs for a hearing device. One of the most common scenarios for this is beginning a new job that puts more demands on your hearing. If your current hearing aids were selected for a quiet lifestyle with infrequent social events or meetings, they may not be able to meet the daily conversational demands of conference calls or working with students or clients. 

Social changes can also mean a new hearing aid would better serve your needs. Engaging with a new social circle centered around dining out together, or taking up a new sport may reveal that your current hearing device isn’t the right fit for your needs. Fortunately, your hearing specialist can help you decide what features your lifestyle requires from your hearing aids, and can point you towards hearing aids that better match the demands of your daily life.

Technology Is Improving

While there is no way to reverse permanent hearing loss, hearing aids are constantly improving. Digital sound processing has led to huge advancements in the technology of hearing aids. From rechargeable batteries to enhanced streaming sound directly from smartphones and other devices, new technology has made hearing accessibility sharper and more adaptable than ever before.

Although your hearing aids may still work, you may still want to consider updating your hearing aids to access newer technology. Music fans may appreciate the clarity that streaming sound brings to their favorite songs, for instance. Access to adaptive in-device tinnitus therapy, innovative sound processing and hearing aid settings that can remember adjusted settings based on your location are all convenient new options to consider when choosing the right hearing aid for your needs.

If you are in the market for new hearing aids, we’re here to help! We can help you determine the best features and technologies to treat your specific hearing needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.