If you’re hard of hearing in North Carolina and already wear hearing aids, that’s great! You’ve taken an important step in reconnecting with your world and have reduced your risks for experiencing many of the comorbidities associated with untreated hearing loss, a list that includes depression, isolation, dementia, falls, and physical conditions such as diabetes. In order to continue to reap those benefits, it’s important to know when it’s time to upgrade to new hearing aids.
Hearing Aids Have a Lifespan
Like all products, hearing aids won’t last forever. They are sophisticated electronic devices that are exposed to a harsh environment on a daily basis. Moisture, heat, earwax, and dirt all take their toll, even if you’re studious about keeping them clean. With proper care, you can expect a solid five to seven years out of your hearing aids, but eventually, you will inevitably need to replace them. Knowing when to do so is the key to uninterrupted communications.
Nothing in life is safe from obsolescence. Just ask the dinosaurs! This is especially true of electronic products; over time, mechanical problems may occur, or better technology will come along. We are already seeing this with hearing aids; in the past ten years, advances such as wireless Bluetooth® connectivity and rechargeable batteries have led to a whole new generation of devices with superior features and functionality.
Having said that, there are steps you can (and should) take to extend the life of your hearing aids. After all, they’re an investment, and you’ll want to get the most out of your money! The most important thing to do is clean them on a regular basis. Use a soft, dry cloth and avoid liquids, which can cause damage. Change the wax filter and clean the microphone and other hard-to-reach nooks and crannies using a Multi-tool or soft brush. Bring them to your audiologist in Boone periodically for clean-and-check appointments that can help detect problems early and ensure they are operating as efficiently as possible.
When to Upgrade
While servicing and repairs can help you get a couple more years from your hearing aids, the time will come when the costs associated with this upkeep won’t be enough to offset the benefit of buying new hearing aids.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s probably time to upgrade your hearing aids when the following conditions apply:
- Your current hearing aids are more than five years old.
- Your hearing aids have visible damage or do not work as efficiently as before.
- Your hearing aids have already been repaired at least once.
- Your hearing loss worsens or is no longer helped sufficiently by your current hearing aids.
- Newer, better technology is available for your specific hearing needs.
If you’re considering new hearing aids, talk to your Boone audiologist today. They are happy to help discuss the options available and may even let you “try before you buy” in order to make your decision an easier one.