Maybe you or a loved one has had a pair of hearing aids for quite some time now. Since acquiring the devices, your life has improved immensely, thanks to better communication with loved ones and professional settings. But you may be wondering when it is time to get your next set.

Does observing a regular maintenance routine and professional servicing guarantee their longevity? Or are there situations that may necessitate an upgrade?

We’ve been asked this question many times, so we decided to share our thoughts in this article to help you understand why you may want to upgrade your hearing aids.

Why Would I Need to Upgrade My Hearing Aids?

When we talk about upgrading, we’re talking about replacing your current hearing aids with newer ones that offer you significant benefits.

Generally, most people replace their hearing aids after 4-5 years.

So, what are the circumstances that warrant an upgrade?

You’re Looking for Better Hearing

If listening requires a lot of effort or can be frustrating, even with your hearing aids on, it’s time to talk to us about whether new technology could be helpful.

It’s possible that reprogramming your current hearing aids will make a difference or that something new is available that wasn’t an option previously.

Over the past five years, we’ve seen tremendous improvements in hearing aid technology that translates to better hearing for you. Digital hearing aids are now much more automatic.

They adapt to your environment by adjusting certain parameters depending on where you are. For example, they can detect if you are in a restaurant, in the car, on a busy city street, or listening to music.

We’ve also seen improvements in connectivity that make listening to phone calls and watching TV much easier.

Direct audio streaming from Apple and Android smartphones and from TV accessories to hearing aids has been a game-changer for many people. If you don’t have this set up yet, let us know so we can review your options with your current or new hearing aids.

Decision to Invest in New Technology Instead of a Repair

General wear and tear on hearing aids can cause them to break down or get weak over time. Sometimes it’s clear there is a problem, but in other cases, you may not notice right away that the hearing aids are not working properly.

We recommend our 19-point inspection and cleaning appointments every 6 months as preventative maintenance, where we first run an electroacoustic analysis that checks the internal components. Then we compare the results to manufacturer specifications. If we find something wrong, we’ll discuss your options.

Usually, this involves repairing the hearing aid out of warranty or investing that money towards newer technology that may have significant advantages for you.

Changes in Hearing or Listening Needs

If your hearing or listening needs have changed, we will see what we can do to make your current hearing aids work better for you through reprogramming.

If we can’t optimize the volume or frequency response due to your current hearing aids’ limitations, we will recommend other options that would meet your needs. There also might be accessories that would really help in specific situations that are only compatible with newer hearing aids.

Our shared goal is optimizing your hearing in as many situations as possible and helping you make an informed decision on how to accomplish this best.

You may be wondering what to do with your old set when you upgrade your hearing aids. Some people prefer keeping them to use as a backup. If your new hearing aids ever need repair, we are happy to loan you a back-up set, so you never have to be without hearing aids.

We welcome donations to our nonprofit Pacific Hearing Connection.

Besides providing hearing healthcare to low-income patients in our community, we have international partnerships in the Middle East, Africa, and South America, so your pair may go a long way in helping someone else who otherwise would not have access to hearing healthcare.

While our international service is on hold due to COVID-19, we are looking forward to the day we’ll be able to serve a broader community once again.

If you or a loved one is ready for an upgrade, we’ll discuss all of your options and recommend the best set that suits your lifestyle and hearing needs. Contact our friendly team to see how we can help support you in your next steps to better hearing.

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Rachel Appleton, Au.D.

Rachel Appleton, Au.D.

I grew up in Portsmouth, Ohio. I was an undergrad at the College of Wooster in Ohio and graduate at Northwestern University near Chicago. I did my externship at the VA outside of Chicago. I have always enjoyed volunteering throughout my life. As a teen, I volunteered a lot at a local retirement community, and I loved spending time with the residents there. While in graduate school, I was able to travel to Peru to educate others about hearing healthcare. Pacific Hearing Service was a great fit for me because of the practice’s focus on humanitarian outreach both locally and abroad.