Hearing aid technology continues to improve, and your hearing can change over time. That’s why it’s important to know when to consider upgrading your hearing aids.
Factors That Affect the Longevity of Your Hearing Aids
Materials: Hearing aids are usually made of plastic, silicon, metal and other materials that can degrade over time.
Maintenance: You should clean your hearing aids daily. Poor maintenance increases wear and tear on your devices.
Where they’re worn: An active lifestyle exposes your hearing aids to dust, dirt, debris and moisture.
Storage: Opening the battery compartment at night and placing your devices in a dehumidifier reduces the chance of moisture damage. Rechargeable hearing aids are also susceptible to moisture damage, but there are specially designed dehumidifiers to eliminate that issue.
Your physiology: Your body produces sweat, earwax and chemicals that can affect how long they last.
Style: Behind-the-ear (BTE) devices tend to last longer than in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids.
5 Reasons to Upgrade Your Hearing Aids
Your Hearing Aids are More Than 5 Years Old
Modern hearing aids typically last three to seven years, but they can incur wear. Wax buildup and sweat could cause discoloration. Replacement parts are more difficult to find for older devices. Hearing technology changes regularly, so you may need devices that have more precise features and settings to suit your hearing loss.
Your Hearing Has Changed
Various factors such as noise exposure, ototoxic medications and chronic health conditions could increase your hearing loss. Your current devices may no longer address your degree of hearing loss. For example, if you develop severe or profound hearing loss, your ITE devices might not be the right style anymore, requiring you to switch to BTE hearing aids.
You’ve Made Lifestyle Changes
Have you become more active and need a hearing device with a more durable design? Do you want to be able to connect your hearing aids to a smartphone or other technology to stream calls? Those are good reasons to opt for an upgrade. There are lots of different hearing aid brands and styles that are designed with specific lifestyles in mind. You can also change your hearing aids if you prefer more simplicity than your current model.
Your Finances Have Changed
You may have chosen the devices you bought several years ago because of the price. Additional features and technology usually mean a higher price point. However, if your budget allows, upgrading your hearing devices provides you with an opportunity to reinvest in your hearing.
Your Hearing Aids are Damaged
Your devices are built to last, but they’re not immune to hearing aid disasters if you drop them or get them wet. Common signs of hearing aid damage include:
- Sound distortion
- Feedback or whistling
- Low or no volume
- Poor battery life
- Bluetooth connectivity issues
Schedule Your Annual Hearing Test
Receiving a hearing test every year allows you to stay on top of changes in your hearing loss that require new devices. Your audiologist will also use your results to adjust your current devices to suit your needs.