It’s not so much a question of how long all hearing aids last but how long your particular hearing aids will serve you well.
The technology in hearing aids has advanced considerably over the years, with newer, better hearing aids coming on the market every three years or so that provide even more natural hearing quality than the aids before them.
So in answer to your question, your hearing aids might last for many years, but most people prefer to upgrade theirs every three to five years to take advantage of the latest technology.
Some of the newer improvements include noise and feedback reduction, improved clarity of sound, a better fit in or around the ear, tinnitus masking, adjustable volume control, a longer-lasting charge, and the ability to recharge them and connect them to a phone app with Bluetooth.
What Should I Do With My Old Hearing Aids When I Upgrade?
When you upgrade your hearing aids, you can keep the old ones as a backup pair or donate them.
Some of our customers like to wear their old hearing aids when they are more active—they go boating, biking, or work in the yard with them. Or they always wear the new aids but prefer the reassurance of knowing that if anything happens to the new pair, they have a backup pair available.
If you don’t need a backup pair of hearing aids, donating them is a great option. We work with a community program that provides audiology services to uninsured community members.
We provide them with hearing evaluations, and we can recycle your donated hearing aids and give them to those who need hearing aids but are not in a position to buy them.
Even if we find we cannot recondition your old hearing aids, we can use the parts for repairs, so your donation will never go unappreciated. Your donation might even be tax-deductible.
When is The Right Time to Upgrade?
There is no necessarily right time to upgrade, but there are certainly times when it makes more sense to upgrade than to keep using your current hearing aid. Consider upgrading if:
1# Your hearing has changed. You do not hear as well as you once did, even with the hearing aid in your ear.
2# Your lifestyle has changed, and your hearing aid has a difficult time keeping up. It’s a chore to remove it to have a conversation on the phone, or maybe you’ve switched jobs, and now you need to cope with different background noises.
3# Your hearing aid won’t stop quitting. It just isn’t reliable anymore, and you can’t depend on it for work or leisure activities.
4# You know for sure your hearing aid is analog. Ouch, go digital fast.
5# Your hearing aid is heavy. Clunky, older technology weighs a lot.
6# Your hearing aid is big. When you look in the mirror, your hearing aid is all you can see. That old technology is really bulky too. Some of the newer hearing aids are much smaller, lighter, and almost invisible, fitting in the ear canal rather than outside it.
7# You are changing the batteries every day. Modern hearing aids are more energy-efficient, some lasting up to 24 hours at a time, and some come with rechargeable batteries.
8# You’d rather control the hearing aids from a phone app. Adjust the volume or background noise and audio balance, or let the app assess the onsite noise and adjust the sounds delivered to your hearing aid automatically. The app can also check the battery status and switch to a saved setting for a particular environment.
9# You’d like a hearing aid with the newer technology available. You’d like to stream music and/or phone calls directly through your hearing aids. You’d enjoy being able to adjust bass, middle, and treble tones. You’d like a “find my hearing aid” feature.
Are There Any Medical Reasons to Upgrade?
Given that most people wear a hearing aid to improve their ability to hear and manage tinnitus, it makes sense that they would want hearing aids that deliver the best sound quality as their hearing ability changes.
Age-related hearing loss does change over time and is expected, and hearing acuity often diminishes over time too. If you begin to notice you have more difficulty understanding speech, TV, or with your hearing in general, your hearing may have changed.
Upgrading to more sophisticated technology can help compensate for these changes. Also, some of the newer hearing aids are better at masking or managing tinnitus.
If you or a loved one is ready to upgrade your hearing aids, please contact me to schedule an appointment and further discuss your options.
I look forward to hearing from you soon!