New Year—New Hearing Aids?

Generally speaking, hearing aids last about three to five years before hearing care professionals start suggesting newer technology.  But depending on your lifestyle, hearing loss, and how well you take care of your hearing aids, that time frame can differ dramatically. Now that the new year is just around the corner it’s time to consider upgrading your hearing aids. To help you decide, here are a few factors to consider.

How do you like your current hearing aids?

As you go through your day, think about the different situations where you feel you could hear better:

  • Is it still difficult for you to hear conversations over the phone?
  • Does your spouse avoid conversing with you in the car because she knows you can’t hear well there?
  • How about when you go out to eat with family and friends at noisy restaurants?

If you can list a number of similar problematic situations, then it’s time to talk to your hearing care professional about whether new technology can help you.

Also, don’t dismiss listening situations that you have always thought impossible for hearing aids to fix. Hearing technology improves at such a rapid rate that what was considered impossible just a few years ago m now be commonplace.

Has your hearing or lifestyle changed recently?

Hopefully you have been following your hearing care professional’s recommendations and get your hearing checked on an annual basis. If not, it’s time make an appointment. If your hearing has changed significantly, it could simply be due to needing your hearing aids settings readjusted. Or, it could indicate a need for new hearing aids.

If your lifestyle or interests have changed significantly since purchasing the hearing aids you currently wear, it might be time to reevaluate your hearing needs. Perhaps you’ve developed a new passion for the opera and would appreciate hearing aids that deliver better music sound quality. Maybe you’re exercising more and need a sturdy and sweat-resistant hearing aid that can keep up. Or perhaps you are in a new living arrangement where your surroundings aren’t as quiet as they used to be and you need newer technology to help you understand speech better in noise.

Have you had to send in your aids for repair frequently?

Depending on how well you take care of your hearing aids and environmental factors (such high humidity or dust), you may find yourself sending them in for repairs much more often as they age. Repair costs add up over time, not to mention the hassle of the repair process itself. New hearing aids are sturdier, often sealed in protective nanocoating, and IP rated against dirt and moisture, all of which help them to withstand harsher wearing conditions without breaking down.

Does your insurance cover any costs?

Quality hearing aids are not cheap. But thankfully, there are some insurance options that cover all or portions of the cost.  So, before you rule out new hearing aids due to budgetary concerns, check with your insurer to find out if they cover hearing aids.

Most importantly, talk to your hearing care professional.  They are your best partner for any discussion about your hearing loss and individual listening needs. They can tell you about the latest hearing technology available and whether new hearing aids can significantly improve your daily life in 2017.