Should I Update My Hearing Aids?

Should I Update My Hearing Aids?

Dr. Molly DillonHearing Aids, Hearing Health

Dr. Molly Dillon

Hearing aids are everyday items for people with hearing loss. These innovative devices provide significant hearing support, allowing people to navigate everyday environments and communication much more effectively and comfortably. Hearing aids are designed to be long lasting but like all devices that you use daily, they are impacted by daily wear and tear. One of the most common questions that people ask is when should they update their hearing aids. If you are thinking about updating your hearing aids, it is important to consider the following factors which can help you determine when you should opt for a new device. 

Your hearing has changed. 

Hearing needs can change over time. This highlights the importance of getting your hearing evaluated regularly. Experts recommend that people with hearing loss get their hearing tested every year. A simple way you can do this is integrating a hearing test in your annual health check-ins. Hearing loss ranges from mild forms to more severe impairment and over time, where your hearing lands on this spectrum can change. If your hearing does change, then your hearing aids may need to be updated to better meet your new hearing needs. Your hearing healthcare provider can assess this and let you know if it would benefit from updating your hearing aids .

Major lifestyle factors have changed. 

When recommending hearing aids, hearing healthcare specialists use a range of factors including your degree of hearing loss as well as several lifestyle factors. This includes your work and social life, hobbies you engage in, activities you participate in, the type of climate you live in etc. These factors help identify the environments you regularly navigate which illuminates what your hearing aids need to be able to do in order to support your hearing health in these environments. So if any of these major lifestyle factors change, your hearing aids may need to be updated. 

An example of this is if you move to a warmer climate. Maybe this means that you will produce greater moisture in your ears so your hearing aid will need to be more resistant to this. Another example is if you start working in a noisier environment or start engaging in activities regularly that expose you to loud noise. You could then benefit from hearing aids that are designed to reduce background noise. If any major lifestyle factors have changed, it is important to consult your hearing healthcare provider who can evaluate if you should update your hearing aids to better meet your hearing needs in these new contexts. 

Your hearing aids don’t work as well. 

You will likely notice when your hearing aids don’t seem to be working as well. This can include experiencing feedback noise, poorer sound quality, your device powering off randomly etc. These issues are signs that your hearing aid is malfunctioning. It is important to take your hearing aids to be inspected by a hearing aid specialist who will thoroughly examine your device. They are able to run performance tests to see how your hearing aid is working and assess for any specific damage. Your hearing aid may just need repair work or they may recommend updating your device. 

Hearing aids typically last 5-7 years, depending on the type of device you have. These signs could also indicate that you are reaching the end of your hearing aids’ lifespan so it may be time to replace them. Your hearing healthcare provider will be able to tell you if this is the case and will recommend devices that can optimally meet your hearing needs. 

You are interested in new technologies. 

Hearing aids are constantly benefiting from newer technologies. They offer a range of features that are designed to deliver sharp sound quality, increased connectivity, and seamless hearing experiences in everyday environments. This includes features like digital noise reduction, wireless connectivity, tinnitus management, voice assistants, voice recognition and more. You may be interested in exploring these technologies which can mean updating your hearing aids. Additionally, hearing aids offer a range of accessories and things like a downloadable app where you can easily manage your settings. Be sure to discuss these options with your hearing healthcare provider to assess what would work best for you!