Have you or a loved one been noticing hearing loss? Do you have hearing aids that don’t work as well as they used to? If it’s time to look into new hearing aids, you may be wondering how long you can expect your new devices to last. Today’s hearing aids are amazingly durable, especially considering how tiny they are and the level of technology packed inside. But like any technological device, they eventually need to be replaced. Even if your hearing aids are well maintained, they typically have a lifespan of four to six years.
You may need to upgrade or replace your hearing aids for several reasons:
- New technology becomes available that better addresses your hearing needs
- Your devices are no longer supported by the manufacturer
- Repairs and maintenance become costly due to the age of the hearing aids
- Your hearing loss progresses beyond the point that your current device can adequately correct
All hearing aids require some level of maintenance and repair during their lifetime. The most frequent repairs are caused by debris such as oil or moisture damaging the microphones and the receivers. An audiologist can show you how to maintain your hearing aids, how to keep them clean and dry, and how to change the batteries.
To be certain you are getting the most from your hearing aids, follow these guidelines:
- Have a hearing examination regularly and be sure your audiologist uses real ear technology to verify how well your hearing aid is working in your ear. Changes in hearing can occur so gradually you may not be aware of them. If any changes are found, your audiologist can adjust your digital hearing aids or make appropriate recommendations for treatment.
- Have your ear canals routinely checked for earwax. This is one of the most common causes of hearing aid breakdown and feedback (whistling).
- Clean your hearing aids. Hearing aids collect moisture, dust, and earwax almost every day. Regular cleaning keeps your hearing aids working at their best while minimizing the need for repairs. Ask your audiologist to provide a professional cleaning one to two times per year including vacuum chamber, suction cleaning, and disinfection.
- Ask your audiologist to perform diagnostic measures on your hearing aids to assess if they meet standards for electro-acoustic function that can determine, for example, if they have excessive distortion, correct amplification, and appropriate pitch performance.
If you think it’s time to check out new hearing aids or have your current devices professionally cleaned and checked, talk with one of our doctoral-level audiologists.