Hearing aids are an important component of improving a hearing impaired person’s ability to hear. Today’s technology has advanced to a point where most users notice a significant improvement. They make it possible for the user to stay connected and communicate at an optimal level, enhancing their quality of life.
Hearing aids, however, do not last forever. They are small electronic devices that do eventually need to be replaced. This article will discuss when you should start thinking about upgrading your hearing aids.
Your hearing aids are 5 years old or older
Hearing aids typically last 5 years, although they can last longer. It is roughly at the 5 year mark that hearing aids can start to “play up” and not perform optimally. During the life of a hearing aid, it has been exposed to moisture (ear canal is very humid), wax, dirt, and dust. This will influence the functioning of the hearing aids. Certainly, their life can be prolonged if they are cleaned and maintained in a correct manner. The style of hearing aid will also affect its durability. Typically, behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids last longer than in the ear (ITE) devices.
When a hearing aid gets older the wax/moisture/dust can cover/block the microphones and speakers of the hearing aids causing them to underperform. Hearing aids can be repaired, and most hearing aids now have a full 3 year warranty. Outside this warranty it may be more economical to put the money towards new hearing aids.
Hearing Aid Technology Has Improved
Hearing aids are like little computers. The engineering and technology that goes into the microchips of a hearing aid is mind-blowing. Most hearing aids now have regular firmware updates. Just like computers and smart phones, hearing aid technology moves fast and is continuously improving.
The following is by no means exhaustive but lists some of the improvements in hearing aid technology over the last 5 year:
Direct to smart phone audio streaming, Li-ion rechargeable, adjustable via app, improved noise suppression algorithms, beam-forming microphone technology, built-in motion sensors to detect falls.
So while your old hearing aid may be still working, the improvement to your quality of life with new technology will be significant.
Your Goals Have Changed
Sometimes things change and that may include a significant lifestyle change – a change in job or change to your social habits. What if you worked from home but were suddenly required to go back to the office and attend several meetings a week. Or you developed a new circle of friends and you started to attend social functions more often. Well in both cases, your current technology may not “cut it” in the new demanding listening environments you now find yourself in.
Your hearing has deteriorated
This reason comes with a caveat…when you are fitted with hearing aids a competent and ethical audiologist should recommend hearing aids that have plenty of “headroom” available. The aids should have the capacity to be turned up over the years to cater for minor changes in your hearing. That been said, if there has been a significant and permanent change to your hearing thresholds, then new hearing aids may be required.
How can Audiology Trio help you?
At Audiology Trio we are independent audiologists that specialise in client centred hearing care. We will give you honest, ethical opinions on what would best suit your individual needs and circumstances. Get in touch with us today and let us help you stay connected!