Hearing aids are such an important investment in your overall health. These complex devices allow people to navigate daily life with greater capacity to hear and communicate effectively. Hearing aids, similar to most electronics today, continue to evolve with advancing technology. The range of features and options that are available have increased connectivity capabilities, enhanced user experience, and maximize hearing ability.
Though these instruments are savvier than ever before, they are impacted by daily wear and tear. Natural and inevitable bodily production – sweat, ear wax, moisture etc. – gradually affects hearing aids. The average life-span of these devices is 5 to 7 years with regular care and maintenance. You may be wondering when you should update your hearing aids so we have a few signs to be aware of:
Your hearing aids are working differently
You likely have been using your hearing aids for quite some time which means you are really familiar with it. After wearing them daily, you are able to easily identify when the device seems off or not working like they used to. If your hearing aids seem to be functioning differently, it is important to trust your own expertise!
Hearing aids are gradually to be impacted by the different natural elements that occur and build in your ears which can impact the hardware and electrical components that are required for its functioning (microphone, amplifier, speaker). A few signs that your hearing aids are not working at maximum capacity include:
- Occasional or frequent malfunctioning and/or completely powering off
- You hear buzzing, whistling, or ringing sounds
- Batteries are easily drained and need to be recharged often
- Presence of feedback
It is common to occasionally have minor repairs done on your hearing aids but if these issues occur frequently, you likely need new hearing aids.
Your hearing needs have changed
Your hearing needs can change over time. Hearing impairment exists on a spectrum, it can be mild to profound, which means that your hearing can move on this scale. Hearing can be impacted by various factors – environmental exposure to loud noise, medical conditions, aging, etc. – which can change, develop, and progress. This means that your hearing needs also shift and need to be addressed differently.
This is also why it is important to have your hearing regularly assessed. Hearing tests measure hearing ability in both ears which includes identifying the degree of impairment in both ears. If your hearing ability has changed, your current hearing aids may not be best suited to support you.
Factors in your lifestyle have changed
As you now know as a hearing aid wearer, your specific lifestyle factors and preferences help inform which hearing aids would best work for you. Lifestyle factors include: your work environment, social life and activities, engagement in exercise etc. Hearing aids should maximize your hearing (comfortably) while navigating the settings you typically find yourself in and the activities you participate in. If you have made any changes to your lifestyle, this could signal that it might be time for new hearing aids. Changes to your lifestyle can mean that you changed jobs, moved to city/state/country, recently developed new interests and social activities etc. These changes may require (or be better suited) different aids that are more compatible with these changes.
You are interested in latest technology
The hearing aid industry continuously applies new technology to enhance hearing aids and what they offer. There is an array of technologies that are designed to better integrate hearing aids while maximizing sound quality. This includes:
- Wireless Connectivity: using Bluetooth technology, hearing aids can be paired to other electronic devices like your smartphone, TV, and speaker. This allows them to stream audio directly which provides sharper and clearer sound quality.
- Noise Cancellation: noise cancellation technology reduces background noise which also enhances sound, making it easier to hear and process.
There are much more technologies and capacities that hearing aids offer which you might be interested in exploring.
If you are interested in updating your hearing aids and discussing your options, consult with us to learn more about what would work best for your hearing needs. Hearing aids are a critical instrument and worth investing in!