Hearing aids have come a long way since they were first invented in 1898. Their goal has always been the same: to offer wearers the ability to hear better. Modern innovations continue to improve these devices, but technology cannot change some things. For example, hearing aids are not made to last a lifetime.
So, how often do you have to replace a hearing aid? There are plenty of factors that influence this decision. It is recommended that those who need hearing aids wear them for most of their day-to-day activities, with sleeping and showering being some of the only reasons to remove them. As you can imagine, that much usage on any device would wear it out over time.
In general, it is recommended that you replace your hearing aids every three to five years. However, there isn’t always a need for a replacement, maybe just a repair, or perhaps your hearing loss has worsened over the past year, making you need new devices. Let’s learn a bit more about hearing aids, their longevity, and what to do when you need new ones.
Why a Hearing Aid Stops Working
Your hearing aids might stop working for various reasons. Dying batteries could be the culprit, especially if your devices are used frequently and don’t get the opportunity to charge fully. Eventually, the batteries may be unchargeable and simply cease to work. Another possible reason your hearing aids aren’t functioning well might be a blockage in the sound port. This is often caused by earwax, grime, or dirt.
Can a Damaged Hearing Aid be Repaired?
Due to the delicate nature of these devices, it is not uncommon for a hearing aid to become damaged and require repairs. In some cases, your audiologist’s office may be able to fix the device as long as it is not in a state of disrepair. Reparable instances include replacing dead batteries and professional cleaning services that can dislodge potential blockages from the sound port.
Signs that You Need a New Hearing Aid
Hearing aids are not indefinite items. After some time, you will need new ones to continue listening at your best. If you are unsure whether your current devices should be repaired or replaced, it is best to make an appointment with your audiologist, who can take a comprehensive look at how your hearing aids are performing. Additionally, there are other factors that influence if you will need new listening devices.
Your Hearing Has Changed
Just like your other senses, hearing is something that can ebb and flow over time. If it has been a few years since your last in-person hearing test and subsequent hearing aids, your hearing may have changed. Although your current devices were working correctly, you could find yourself constantly turning up the volume to hear what is now happening around you. Since hearing loss can be linked to aging and various medical conditions, it is possible for your hearing ability to decline rather quickly.
Changes to Your Lifestyle or Environment
Different types of hearing aids have different kinds of functions. If your lifestyle or environment has changed since you received your current pair, the ones you purchased might not serve you how you need them to. Any changes to your daily life, including updating your phone, beginning exercising more or even moving into a new place, can affect the kinds of hearing aids you require.
You’re Interested in Trying a New Device
Many factors play into deciding what kind of hearing aids to get. Perhaps your first trip to the audiologist was a bit overwhelming, discovering all the functions and features you could choose from for your devices. After wearing them for a while, you might decide that the basic model you chose isn’t working for you. Additionally, your financial situation may have changed, and now you would like something more advanced. In any case, your audiologist’s office should be able to work with you and find a solution that fits your needs and budget.
How Many Years Does a Hearing Aid Last?
Most hearing aids last anywhere from three to five years. However, several factors might increase or decrease the longevity of these devices. It is important to consider how well the hearing aid is built, how often it is maintained or cleaned, and the level of wear and tear it experiences on a continual basis.
Any kind of deterioration with your hearing aid can be progressive. This means you likely won’t notice an immediate change, but there will be small shifts in the effectiveness of your devices over time. If you are approaching the three-year mark since receiving your hearing aids, an appointment with your audiologist can help identify any issues before they worsen.
How Often Should You Replace the Earmould on a Hearing Aid?
Custom earmoulds are fitted to some clients with hearing aids to ensure a tighter fit of their devices. They help the apparatus rest comfortably in your ear and can be made from hard materials, like acrylic, or soft ones, like silicone. No matter the make-up of your earmoulds, they will need to be replaced more often than your hearing aids. This is because they are prone to discolouration, ripping, cracking, or even breaking. You should get new ones every 12 months to two years to ensure they remain effective.
Where Can I Get My Hearing Aids Replaced?
Your audiologist’s office should be able to offer a full suite of hearing options for you, including hearing aids. At Robillard Hearing Centres, we believe in providing our patients with the support they need throughout their hearing journey. After your initial in-person test, results are handled by hearing specialists who can help you decide on the best device for your lifestyle. Additionally, we are capable of repairing and replacing existing hearing aids as needed. No matter the features or functionality you require, our team would be happy to help you decide which device will help you listen at your best.
Should I Have an Auditory Exam at the Same Time?
Once you have experienced some form of hearing loss, it is unlikely that this sense will improve or return to normal over time without a hearing aid. Many audiologists recommend a hearing test every three to five years, depending on your previous test’s results. While getting a test if you want to have your hearing aids replaced is not mandatory, it is best to check in with your audiologist for their recommendation. After all, if you are coming in to replace your listening devices, you’ll want them to work at their best.
At Robillard Hearing Centres, we believe that our patients should be knowledgeable about their hearing aids and how they impact their lives and relationships. We take the time to work with each patient individually, deciding which devices work for them and offering solutions that work within their budget. While some may be reluctant to wear hearing aids or have an old pair that they don’t use often, we can meet patients where they are and explain the benefits that listening at your best can offer them. Are you interested in learning more about our services or setting up an appointment? Contact us today.