Hearing aid technology has advanced a lot in recent years. Your image of hearing aids might be based on old models that used analog technology to add volume to the entire spectrum of sound. Whereas these old models were a remarkable invention in their day, new models do not simply raise the entire sound spectrum for the listener. Digital signal processing makes it possible to leave background sound where it belongs—in the background—while amplifying the voice of a person in a conversation. Along with these innovations, hearing aids are also more durable in many ways. Water and moisture resistance is better than ever, and the use of rechargeable batteries means that the door and components of the old battery chamber are less likely to break.
With these many improvements to hearing aids, how long can a person expect them to last? Although hearing aids offer better assistance and durability than ever, people still tend to replace their hearing aids every four to six years, on average. There are two main rationales for this replacement. In the first case, repairs can become more expensive than replacement at some point. In the second case, the new features that are available in hearing aids can be quite appealing, prompting people to get new aids before the old ones are completely worn out.
Hearing Aid Repair Costs
Many of the latest hearing aids require very little repair or maintenance. With components that are resistant to moisture and the elements, many people use their hearing aids for years without needing to take them in for repairs. At some point, though, a repair might be necessary, and these repairs can be costly. Particularly when it comes to older hearing aids, the repairs are then a cost-benefit decision with the prices of new hearing aids. Though one repair might not match the cost of new aids, one has to wonder how many more repairs will be necessary for the future. If too many repairs are needed, then a person might decide that the cost of repair no longer competes with the cost of replacement.
Hearing Aid Innovation
One of the most common reasons that a person seeks a replacement for their hearing aids is the availability of new technology and features. A person who is using an older analog model of hearing aids might be struggling with some of the old features, such as the loud presence of background noise, whistling feedback, or battery replacements that require nimble fingers. When these problems become an annoyance, the hearing aids might be working as intended, but they’re no match for the new technology that is out there. One of these innovations has to do with digital signal processing. Enhancing the voice of an individual voice in a room is a feature that can transform communication ability for many people with hearing loss. Voice recognition technology can be paired with noise reduction to create a conversational setting that is much easier to navigate for many people with hearing loss, as well.
One of the greatest innovations in hearing aid technology is Bluetooth connectivity. In the first place, it is now possible to integrate your devices with hearing aids, sending notifications, phone ringers, and media directly to your units along with acoustic enhancement. Beyond this feature, though, Bluetooth connectivity can work in the other direction. With an app on your smartphone, this technology makes it possible to modify the settings on hearing aids without manipulating anything directly on the device.
When you pair this feature with rechargeable batteries, the latest hearing aids are much better suited to those with arthritis or issues of manual dexterity. Rather than fumbling with aids to change settings or batteries, many people find these technology changes are worth the cost of buying new aids. Though you should be able to get many years of faithful service out of your hearing aids, you might find yourself deciding to get new aids for one of these reasons.
We’re here to help! Contact us to schedule an appointment. We can begin with updating your hearing test, if necessary, and proceeding to consult with you about which hearing aids are right for your needs.