Let’s be honest: replacing items you’re familiar with is never fun.
I still have a space in my closet for my nearest-and-dearest articles of clothing that I can’t bring myself to donate. And I definitely have that oh-so-common “junk drawer” where I store those things I “might need” in the future.
So, it doesn’t surprise me that many of my patients wait years to replace their hearing aids.
I think it’s a normal part of human nature.
Unfortunately, hearing aids don’t last a lifetime. And your old hearing aids can cause you more trouble than their worth.
At some point, you have to replace them. But how do you know when it’s time?
How Long Should Hearing Aids Last?
Hearing aids are designed to last for a while, but they aren’t designed to last forever. Depending on your manufacturer and use, your hearing aids will probably last around 4 to 10 years.
In general, I recommend that patients start discussing replacement hearing aids at around the 3-year mark.
Of course, your hearing aids may last much longer than 3 years, but you want to have a game plan set-in-place for the inevitable day.
Are you worried about having to replace your beloved hearing aids? Don’t worry! It’s not all bad. Hearing aid technology is constantly improving, so you’ll likely find that newer hearing aids are even better and more comfortable than your old pair.
There are tons of exciting hearing aid solutions on the market. For example, newer Invisible-In-Canal (IIC) hearing aids are virtually invisible, and some have batteries that last for months (if not years).
Replacing or upgrading hearing aids can actually be a fun and transformative experience.
You may find a new pair that completely changes how you engage and interact with the outside world.
And don’t fret. You can add store those old hearing aids in the back of the closet with those old pieces of clothing.
At our clinic, we usually urge people to keep their old hearing aids as a backup.
Alternatively, we donate old hearing aids to the Georgia Lions Lighthouse — a charity dedicated to providing vision & hearing care for uninsured Georgia residents.
When Should You Upgrade or Change Hearing Aids?
It depends. Everyone is different, and every person uses hearing aids uniquely.
A person who only uses their hearing aids during certain activities may not need to upgrade for a decade, while someone that uses their hearing aids daily may require an upgrade in 3 years.
In general, the more active and demanding your listening situation is, the earlier you need to upgrade.
Over time, your hearing worsens slightly, so it’s always a good idea to get regular checkups at your local hearing center.
Of course, there are plenty of reasons to upgrade that doesn’t involve an immediate need to replace your old hearing aids.
A new hearing aid might catch your eye, or technological advances in hearing technology may produce a better overall solution for your unique hearing needs.
You may desire a different type of hearing aid that fits your ear better.
Or, you may be replacing your child’s hearing aids. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) recommends that parents replace their child’s hearing aids regularly — since their ears grow relatively fast.
Are You Ready to Upgrade?
Here’s a simple truth: you need to discuss your hearing situation with your local hearing clinic.
There are simply too many variables involved in upgrading hearing aids.
Chances are, your hearing specialist will perform a hearing test and diagnose any issues with your existing hearing aid. Your hearing specialist may even be able to fix any issues with your current hearing aids.
Are you on the fence about upgrading your hearing aids?
Schedule an appointment with our hearing specialists.
We can help you figure out whether you need to upgrade and give you the resources and advice you need to choose the perfect hearing aid.