There are many factors to consider when looking into new hearing aids. Although most experts recommend replacing hearing aids every three to five years, there is no clear-cut rule that applies to every hearing aid user. Considering the following situations can help you better determine whether or not it is time for new hearing aids.
Are your hearing aids working as well as they used to?
If you have started to notice changes in the function of your hearing aids, it is important you reach out to your hearing healthcare professional to schedule a follow-up appointment. There are many possible reasons your hearing aids are not working as well as they used to – and many do not require replacement aids.
At your appointment, your hearing healthcare professional will be able to work with you to determine the cause of your hearing aid malfunction. Hearing aids do require regular cleaning and maintenance, and oftentimes a buildup of earwax or other debris is the cause of the malfunction. This can be easily solved with a professional cleaning. Your hearing aids may also require a more intensive repair that can will be done either in your audiologists’ office or through your hearing aid manufacturer.
Are your hearing aids meeting your lifestyle and needs?
Hearing aid manufacturers are constantly unveiling cool and tempting new technology, that can make many wearers feel their hearing aids are inadequate. Before ditching your hearing aids for the latest and greatest, it is helpful to first assess whether your hearing aids are meeting your specific needs. A good way to go about this is to brainstorm your five most important hearing needs. For example, you could say, “accurately hearing my notes when I play my sax”, “hearing all members of a phone conference call”, or “understanding group conversations at social events”.
Once you have determined your most important hearing needs, you should then assess your satisfaction in each of these areas. This will help you to gain a fuller and more objective picture of whether or not your hearing aids are meeting your needs. If your hearing aids are meeting your needs, it might not be the right time for new aids. On the other hand, if you are not satisfied in your top 5 priorities, it may be time to start exploring your options.
Is it a good time financially to replace your hearing aids?
If you are using health insurance or Medicaid to pay for your hearing aids, it is important to look into their restrictions. Some states allow for a replacement hearing aid every few years, while others will only provide one hearing aid in a lifetime. If your hearing aids are meeting your needs, it may be best to wait a little while in order to take advantage of financial assistance from third parties such as insurance companies.
Is it worth taking advantage of new technology?
As mentioned earlier in this article, hearing aid manufacturers are constantly improving their hearing aids and increasing their technology and features. For example, most hearing aid manufacturers now offer rechargeable hearing aids, which are fantastic for users who travel often or are constantly on-the-go, but may not be insanely beneficial for homebodies. This same consideration should be taken into account for the new features you have been eying. Ask yourself, “how would Bluetooth connectivity improve my quality of life?” “How much would I benefit from a smaller and more discreet hearing aid?” “Does it matter to me whether my hearing aid can remember locations and settings using GPS?”.
If you have learned about a new hearing aid feature that you believe would bring you benefit to your life, then it may be time to schedule an appointment with your hearing healthcare professional. Your hearing professional can allow you to view and test the new hearing aid features and can help you to better understand how much benefit they would bring to your life, and whether that benefit is worth the investment in new hearing aids.
Lifestyle Hearing Solutions
If you have questions about your current hearing aids or are wondering if it may be time for an upgrade, please reach out to our friendly team today.