How Do I Know If It’s Time For New Hearing Aids?

If you’ve been wearing hearing aids for a few years, you may be wondering when to start looking at new ones. You might be noticing that they don’t seem to work as well as they did when they were new, or you may be wondering how much technology has improved since you bought your current pair. Here are a few ways to tell that it might be time to replace your hearing aids.

  1. They don’t sound as crisp or clear as they once did.

Hearing aids are tiny electronic devices, and the inside of a human ear isn’t the most hospitable environment for tiny electronics! Hearing aids are exposed to sweat, skin and hair oils, dirt, earwax, and humidity every day for years. Eventually, this takes a toll, and they aren’t as sensitive or clear. Regular maintenance can slow this process down and prolong the life of your hearing aids, so make sure you’re changing your wax filters regularly, brushing dust and debris out of your microphones, and using a hearing aid dryer if you live in a humid environment or often get sweaty while wearing the devices. But even the best-maintained hearing aids wear out eventually. 

  1. Your hearing has changed.

The most common type of hearing loss is caused by aging and noise exposure, and it tends to be progressive, meaning it gets worse over time. It’s possible to “outgrow” your hearing aids if your hearing changes enough, and you may need to upgrade to a more powerful pair.

  1. Technology has improved.

Hearing aids are computers, and things in the computer industry change quickly! Most hearing aid manufacturers release new models every year or two, and each new model is incrementally better than the one before. Sometimes there will be a new feature that could be useful to you (recent examples include hands-free Bluetooth calling, more advanced controls in the smartphone app, and built-in health trackers), but most often the changes will be evident in the sound quality of the hearing aids, particularly in background noise. This is due to advances in the speed and sophistication of the sound processing technology. By the time four or five years have gone by, the differences will have added up and are likely to mean you’ll hear substantially better than you did with your older set. 

  1. Your lifestyle, health, or financial situation has changed.

Sometimes, other types of life changes can be a good reason for new hearing aids. Maybe you’ve developed arthritis in your hands and can no longer change your hearing aid batteries as easily as you used to, so the newer rechargeable models – which require less manipulation – would be easier for you. Maybe your financial situation has improved, and you’d like to upgrade from the basic model that was all you could afford when you got your first pair of hearing aids. Or maybe you’ve taken up a new outdoor sport, such as hiking or golf, and would benefit from a pair of hearing aids with more up-to-date wind noise reduction. Whatever the change, there may be a solution to address it! 

Many people keep their old hearing aids as backups when they purchase a new set. Others choose to donate them to charity programs that refurbish the old devices and provide them to people in need. If you have questions about new technology or your hearing needs, give us a call!