How to know when it’s time to get new hearing aids

How to know when it's time to get new hearing aids

By Starkey Hearing on 8/16/2023

How many of you can relate to relishing some form of personal technology that makes life easier, or even fun? Maybe it’s your smartphone that lets you enjoy your favorite news sites on demand. Or how about your car with that GPS that can get you nearly anywhere, without any hassle? Or perhaps it’s your hearing aids—that allow you to hear better, stream, and even track your steps.

We use and enjoy our technology to the fullest. But in the back of our minds, we also have that feeling that, one day, our much-loved device will run its course and need to be replaced. Oftentimes, this is simply the culmination of the wear-and-tear process—which yes, includes hearing aids.

Hearing aids go through wear and tear

Think of the wear and tear of hearing aids like the depreciation of a car.

Both cars and hearing aids are built tough to protect their inner functionality. For vehicles, the body protects the engine, let’s say. For hearing aids, the casing shields the electrical components. These core parts help make it possible for our car(s) and hearing aids to do what they do best, plus provide extra features we can enjoy along the way. (For cars, “features” might include air conditioning; for hearing aids, activity tracking.)

Over time, though, we put our favorite technology through a lot. And that’s totally normal—all a part of daily usage. Your vehicle might take on high mileage, bumpy terrain, scrapes, collisions, flying pebbles, and/or hail, to name a few.

Your hearing aids persist through 12 hours of each day in one of the most inhospitable parts of the body—your ears. And it doesn’t end there.

Hearing aids endure exposure to:

Perspiration and body oils
Hair spray
Rain and humidity
Dust, pollen, etc.

Plus, harsh environments like:

  • Accidental drops to the ground
  • Rattling around in purses, backpacks, and/or gym bags
  • Getting twisted and turned while being put in and taken out, etc.

Meanwhile, we regularly take our technology to a professional to help with upkeep. What better way to help us maintain our car or hearing aids for as long as we can, right? So, alongside doing whatever maintenance we can on our own, we make it a habit to see a mechanic for tune-ups and tire replacements—and a hearing care professional for hearing aid clean and checks.

When it’s time to upgrade your hearing aids

Like cars, hearing aids can persevere through many ups and downs. But they aren’t invincible.

While we don’t have the qualifications to explain the fate of cars when they reach their average lifespan of 12.5 years*, or all the signs that point to replacing your vehicle, we can say the following about hearing aids:

By the time we approach the average lifespan of our hearing aids—5 years**—it’s sensible to consider investing in new devices versus fixing your old ones. Why? Because at the five-year mark, it’s not unusual for hearing aids to need more frequent repairs. This is likely due to those inner components inevitably breaking down from exposure to the elements of daily life.

So, even though the latest hearing aids are highly durable—and our rechargeable Genesis AI ones are even waterproof—they do run their course as part of the wear-and-tear process.

Note: It’s smart to have your hearing checked every year to monitor for any changes in hearing. This could also affect your decision to upgrade your current hearing aids.

Good news—hearing technology gets better every year

Truth be told, there are advantages to upgrading your hearing aids. In the time you wore your old hearing aids, hearing aid technology will have advanced significantly.

Continuous hearing aid advancements include:

  • Better sound quality
  • Improved hearing in noise
  • Bolstered wireless technology
  • Waterproofing and other reinforcements in durability
  • More accessory options
  • More life-enhancing features

(Check out the current standard of advanced hearing aids, Genesis AI.)

Let’s be real: In the same way we relish that “new-car smell,” what’s not to love about the boost you’ll get from sporting the shiny, latest-and-greatest hearing technology, in style?

But most importantly, new hearing aids give you reliability and comfort in knowing you’ll have the best possible hearing every moment of the day. And when you think about how much this affects your quality of life and overall happiness, the investment of hearing aids is priceless.

You can try before you buy

Ready to upgrade your hearing aids or trying to decide if it’s right for you? Talk to your hearing care professional. They can test your hearing, walk you through your options, and even demo the latest hearing aid technology.

In the meantime, know that you’ve already “upgraded” your life by getting hearing aids in the first place. May you continue to enjoy better hearing and living into the future.