At our hearing center, patients regularly ask me how they’ll know when it’s time to upgrade their hearing aids. The answer isn’t as simple as you might think.

Although hearing aids typically last five to seven years, it’s not always the devices’ lifespan that determines when to upgrade. Actually, any of the following reasons could make it the right time to upgrade your hearing aids.

You’ve Had Significant Changes in Hearing

Hearing aids can become inadequate to meet the needs of someone who experiences a significant change in hearing. For many people, hearing loss is not a static condition.

Hearing loss tends to gradually worsen over time for people with age-related hearing loss. In Hardin County, noise-induced hearing loss is common. It’s a condition that can worsen for hearing aid users who don’t use hearing protection in loud environments.

The potential for major changes in hearing is why audiologists like me want hearing aid users to schedule a hearing exam every year. Based on the evaluation results, we can tell whether your devices still meet your hearing needs.

You’ve Had Other Major Health Changes

Handling certain hearing aids can become frustrating for a user who has had a stroke or developed another condition that makes it difficult to perform tasks with their hands. Under those circumstances, upgrading to easier to use devices can be helpful.

Your Lifestyle Has Changed

Audiologists take a patient’s lifestyle into account when they decide which hearing aids to recommend. When you make a major shift in your lifestyle, your current hearing aids may not be suitable for the change.

Typically, users become interested in an upgrade when they shift from spending most of their time in a quiet place to a noisy environment.

I’ll use an extreme example to explain what I mean. Let’s suppose you worked in a quiet office when you started using your devices, but you recently got a new job in a loud factory.  Your current hearing aids may not be ideal for your new work environment. 

You Want to Benefit from Advances in Hearing Aid Technology

Hearing aid manufacturers are always working to improve the technology of their devices. Sometimes, users chose to upgrade to get access to features that aren’t available on their current devices.

It’s similar to the reason some people upgrade their smartphones. In fact, hearing aid users sometimes upgrade because they want devices that stream audio directly from their smartphone to the hearing aids.

The bottom line is when your hearing aid technology isn’t providing the benefit you need; it’s a good time to consider an upgrade. Should you upgrade, I advise you to keep your old hearing aids as a back-up pair if your original devices still function.

If you or a loved one are ready to upgrade your devices or want advice on your options, contact our friendly team to see how we can help support you in your transition to better hearing.

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Dr. Joni A. Ruiz AuD

Dr. Joni Ruiz is the owner and doctor of audiology at Big Thicket Hearing Aids and Audiology. She earned her doctorate of audiology in 2009 from Lamar University in Beaumont, TX. Selected for a prestigious fourth-year externship at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Dr. Ruiz has more than ten years’ experience as an audiologist. She has a heart for patient-centered care. At her hearing care practice, she performs comprehensive diagnostic audiological evaluations, provides aural rehabilitation to her patients and their loved ones, dispenses state of the art hearing aids, and manages the care of said devices for their life. Dr. Ruiz is dedicated to patient education regarding hearing loss, hearing protection, and hearing aid selection.
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