For the last several years, you have worn your hearing aids faithfully, and been able to hear as well, or more honestly almost as well as before you had hearing loss. You have heard your colleagues speak in meetings, your kids and grandkids laughter, your loved one’s voice in a crowded restaurant, and the television at an acceptable level. But recently, you may have noticed that your hearing is not what it recently was. Your hearing aids are chirping, they feel clogged or muffled, or you might be back to blaring the volume on your television again. Hearing aids wear out, and knowing when to replace yours can save you and your loved ones a lot of frustration.
The most obvious sign that you need to upgrade your hearing aids is when they fail to function correctly. Hearing aids can last from five to seven years, but their lifespan depends on many factors. How often you wear them, how much moisture and earwax you have in your ear, and how hard you are on your hearing aids can affect the devices. If you find that your are having to get them cleaned or repaired more often, and still having issues, it might be time to look at a new pair.
Have your needs changed since you first bought your hearing aids? Are you more active, and worried about your over-the-ear hearing aids getting damaged? Has your workload changed, where you might be speaking or listening in larger groups more than before? Have you updated other devices in your life like your phone or television, and now want your hearing aids to connect to those devices? Any sort of lifestyle change, from your career to your activity level, can precipitate a need to make sure that your current devices are still the best hearing aids for you.
Progression of Hearing Loss
Depending on the cause of your hearing loss, it may have gotten worse with time. If your hearing continues to deteriorate, new hearing aids may become necessary. Different types of hearing aids work better than others with different levels of hearing loss. A CIC, or completely-in-canal hearing aid works well for moderate hearing loss, but more severe hearing loss might be better corrected with a behind-the-ear device. A hearing specialist can help you evaluate any changes in your hearing loss, and if a different type of hearing aid would be beneficial in correcting your hearing loss.
Your hearing aids might still be doing their job and you may still be hearing your friends and family, and the television volume may still be at an acceptable level but t if you have had your hearing aids for six or seven years, you probably know how much technology has advanced. Think about the phone you had seven years ago compared to the one you have now. Hearing aids may not have gone from a flip phone to an iPhone 7, but the technology has progressed significantly. Bluetooth technology makes phone calls, television shows, and even your music playlist with your hearing aids something that can impress even your non hearing-impaired friends. Newer technology means hearing aids that have much longer lasting batteries and smaller devices. Instead of a device where you might still be manually touching a button to change the type of correction, new hearing aids operate almost like mini computers in your ear, constantly adjusting and filtering sounds for a more natural hearing experience. Who knows what changes are in store seven years from now!
Pay attention to your hearing. Yearly exams can help you keep up with both your hearing and your hearing aids, but noticing any changes in between exams is important. If you do feel like changes are occurring, either with your hearing or the quality of your hearing aids, contact your hearing specialist. We recognize that hearing can change, hearing aids can wear out, and we can help you with both challenges!