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Is It Time for a Hearing Aid Upgrade?

Do not lose the benefits, learn when to make an upgrade.

How long does a hearing aid last?

If your hearing aids are glitching or failing to meet your needs, you're probably contemplating a replacement or upgrade.  Discover the factors that should drive your decision and see what new hearing aid technology could work for you.

Dr. Tom Tedeschi

Dr. Thomas Tedeschi, Au.D.

Chief Audiology Officer, Miracle-Ear

No matter how well you care for them, hearing aids, like any product, have a limited lifespan. The average life expectancy of hearing aids is somewhere between three and seven years. However, it depends on several factors: how the devices are built, where they are worn the ear, how often they are used, how they're stored, frequency of cleaning and maintenance and extent of wear and tear. Each affects your hearing aids' lifespan and longevity. 

RIC hearing aid in a hand

Reasons to invest in high-quality hearing aids

Learn why investing in high-quality hearing aids is the best long-term option for your health—and happiness.

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How to tell when your hearing aids need replacing

How often do you have to replace a hearing aid? Of course, the answer to that question can vary, but keep in mind that it's important to take action when you notice a change in your hearing or the performance of your hearing aids. Hearing aids are a quality-of-life investment—make sure you're getting the best performance out of them. If your hearing aids aren't serving their purpose, you may need a replacement. Here are five ways to determine if you're due for a hearing aid upgrade:

If your hearing aids keep cutting out, or you experience feedback and buzzing, it could be time to invest in a new pair. A cleaning, adjustment or repair might fix occasional glitches, but frequent failures signal that your device is no longer working at its full potential. 

Defective hearing aids can put your hearing at risk for further damage. Have a hearing care professional clean and check your hearing aids every few months to ensure proper functioning and help you determine when it's time to upgrade.

Age-related hearing loss progresses gradually, even while using hearing aids. Your hearing may reach a point where your current devices no longer meet your needs. If you find yourself turning up the volume on your hearing aids louder than you used to, it could be an indicator that you’ve outgrown them.

Changes in hearing are completely normal and expected; they simply mean that it’s time to switch to a more powerful model or one with different features that will accommodate your needs. Don’t worry—more power doesn’t mean giant, clunky hearing aids. Plenty of sleek, discreet styles for all levels of hearing loss are available for all levels of hearing loss.

If you have newly diagnosed, pre-existing or worsening tinnitus, you may want to consider models with built-in tinnitus treatment. Be sure to consult a hearing professional if you detect any changes in your hearing.

Lifestyle changes, such as a new job, living situation, hobby or interest, can present new listening challenges. Fortunately, modern hearing aid technology is designed to help you hear more clearly and naturally in any environment.

Are you attending more social events? Look for a hearing aid that is better at isolating speech from background noise. Does your job require you to make frequent video or phone calls? Many hearing aids are Bluetooth® compatible, allowing you to stream audio directly to your hearing aids from a smartphone, tablet or computer. Are you spending more time participating in outdoor activities, such as cycling or fishing? A hearing aid designed to suppress wind noise can keep up with you when you're on the go.

When comparing different sizes and styles of hearing aids, ease of use is an important factor, especially if you've lost any dexterity. Smaller hearing aids, such as completely-in-canal (CIC) styles, may be trickier to maneuver for people with limited dexterity. Behind-the-ear (BTE) and in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids tend to be the easiest to handle. For even greater convenience, consider upgrading to fully rechargeable hearing aids to eliminate the hassle of changing batteries.

Hearing aid technology gets progressively better every year. The newest hearing aids are more comfortable and nearly invisible, with improved sound quality.

Many models employ smart features that automatically adapt to the wearer's surroundings and even have the ability to learn the wearer's preferences. Features such as Bluetooth® connectivity, voice recognition, Music Master, motion sensors and directional microphones help create a consistently rich and pleasant listening experience that sounds more natural. As an added bonus, you can control these new technologies right from your smartphone. 

If you want or expect more out of your hearing aids, talk to your hearing care professional about a hearing aid upgrade. Your health, happiness and hearing will all benefit from devices that are up to date and precisely matched to your needs. 

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