No matter how well you may care for them, your hearing aids have a limited lifespan. The average life expectancy of hearing aids is somewhere between three to seven years, but it depends on several factors. How the devices are built, where they are worn on the ear, how often they are used, storage, frequency of cleaning and maintenance, and extent of wear and tear can affect the life of hearing aids.
Here are five ways to determine if you’re due for an upgrade.
If you often deal with feedback or buzzing, or if your hearing aid keeps cutting out, it could be time to invest in a new pair. Occasional glitches may be easily fixed with a cleaning, adjustment or repair, but frequent failures signal that your device is no longer working at its full potential.
Defective hearing aids can put your hearing at risk of further damage. Have a hearing instrument specialist 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 gradually progresses, even after the adoption of hearing aids. You may reach a point where your current devices no longer provide the capabilities you need. Turning up the volume on your hearing aids louder than you used to, for example, 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 upgrade to a more powerful model or one with more sophisticated features to 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. If you have tinnitus, or if your tinnitus has become more noticeable, 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 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? You may be interested in a hearing aid designed to suppress wind noise and keep up with you when you’re on the go.
If your old hearing aids are no longer satisfying all your needs and preferences, consider upgrading to a more advanced, higher-quality set. Your health, happiness and hearing will all benefit.