Hearing aids are expensive. Once you’ve purchased a pair of hearing aids, you want that investment to last as long as possible. The truth of the matter, though, is that the average life expectancy of hearing aids, according to most manufacturers, is five to seven years. It’s been my experience that a five to seven year life span is generous at best. Although it’s true that you can extend the life of your hearing aids with regular care and maintenance, in general you can plan to replace each pair every three to five years and only every seven years if luck is on your side.
So, how do you know when it’s time to replace your hearing aids?
If you’ve been wearing the same hearing aid for more than a few years, it may be time to discuss new technology with your hearing healthcare provider. Hearing aid technology improves rapidly. In fact, most of the top manufacturers will release a significantly improved product over their previous generation product approximately every 18 months. Most recently, technology improvements have generally focused on improved hearing in background noise, smaller packaging and wireless connectivity. There have also been some amazing advancements for those who experience ringing in the ears, called tinnitus, and for single sided deafness. If you are unhappy with the sound quality of your hearing aids or if you feel they aren’t able to handle the listening situations you are most commonly exposed to, it’s possible that new technology advancements will be able to help. The best thing to do is to talk with your audiologist about what’s new in hearing aids. She will be able to provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.
Another reason to replace your hearing aids is if they have started to need more repairs. Hearing aids have mechanical working parts. These parts will stop working at some point and must be replaced in order to return the hearing aid back to working condition. With an older hearing aid, especially those over five years old, repairs become more frequent and this can become cost prohibitive. In addition, older hearing aids may only receive a 90-day or 6-month warranty on a repair. If the hearing aid stops working again and the hearing aid is not covered under warranty, you’ll have to pay another repair charge. In an older hearing aid, saving money you would have spent on a repair and investing it into a new, more advanced technology may be the better long-term solution.
If you are thinking that it might be time to replace your hearing aids, talk with your audiologist. It’s our pleasure to be able to work alongside you to decide when or if it’s time to look into new hearing aids. We’ll discuss with you the pros and cons of replacement and the associated costs. And, in most cases, you can listen to some of the new technology while you’re in the office and decide what’s best for you. Call the office to make an appointment. We’d be glad to help.