Latest posts by Dr. Li-Korotky (see all)
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It may be that your hearing needs have changed, your hearing instruments are not functioning as well as they used to, or you simply want to try out newer hearing aids with better features–there is never a bad time to speak to your hearing health care professional about the possibility of updating your hearing aids. If an upgrade is needed to ensure you have a stress-free, comfortable listening experience than it will be well worth it.
1. Your hearing aids are no longer functioning well.
A hearing aid is not like a cell phone or tablet that can be safely tucked away in your pocket or purse. Most of the time, the device–or at least part of it–sits in your moist, sticky ear canal where it can accumulate a buildup of wax, dirt and debris. It will also be exposed to the elements, such as rain and humidity. The best hearing aids are designed to withstand these factors for several years, but with the wear and tear of constant use, most devices need to be replaced anywhere from 3 to 7 years from the date you start wearing them. Occasional maintenance and technical repair, such as changing a wax filter on the speaker, or brushing debris out of the microphone ports. will lengthen the lifespan of your hearing aids.
2. Your level of hearing loss has changed.
Though this is not true for every type of hearing loss, age-related hearing loss tends to worsen over time. If you find that you’re having difficulty understanding others or speech often sounds muffled, it could be that your hearing needs have increased beyond the range of your current hearing aids. Regular hearing tests are important in establishing how your hearing is changing, and determining if your hearing aids are still a good fit. There’s no reason to suffer the communication difficulties that come from poor hearing; simply make an appointment with your hearing health care provider for a comprehensive hearing evaluation and to get your hearing back on track.
3. Something else in your life has changed.
Maybe you’ve just started a new job, taken up a new hobby or have recently gotten married. These lifestyle changes can mean new hearing requirements, especially if your current hearing aids were selected based on a quieter life with less daily interaction. Addressing these needs sooner rather than later will ease your transition and prevent any possible communication roadblocks from developing. Talk to your hearing health care professional about your new situation, and they will be happy to recommend hearing aids that have the additional power or increased capabilities that you need.
4. You want to take advantage of new technology.
In the hearing devices on the market today, there are a lot of great features that can make the listening experience more comfortable, natural and effortless for wearers. If you were fitted with your first hearing aids a few years ago, some of these features may have been unavailable at the time–but now that they are, you may be considering an upgrade!
Hearing instruments have become smarter and more sophisticated in the way they process sound, working with the brain to better isolate speech from background noise and reduce listening effort. Many hearing aids are now Bluetooth-capable, meaning they can easily connect to the devices you use every day. In terms of comfort and personal style, hearing devices come in more colors and sizes than ever before, including completely invisible devices and more comfortable external aids.
In short, when deciding whether to upgrade to newer, superior hearing aids, weigh the cost of upgrading and the potential benefits that new hearing technology can bring to your life.
Visit Pacific Northwest Audiology for all of your hearing needs
Hearing aids are a life-changing investment, but getting the greatest benefit from your devices means occasional maintenance and upgrades. If you are experiencing issues with your current hearing aids, or if you’ve never worn hearing aids and are ready to start hearing better, contact us at Pacific Northwest Audiology. We use Real Ear Speech Mapping to ensure a perfect hearing aid fitting because we want our clients to have the best hearing experience possible. Schedule your appointment today!