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How do I know it’s time to update my hearing aids?

Hearing aids, like everything else, have a finite lifespan. But there’s more to it than that.

Hearing aids can last anywhere from three years to seven — for some people, even longer. Variables affecting this lifespan include how well the instrument is built, how well it’s maintained, and how much wear and tear it experiences being worn in your ear for many hours a day.

Naturally, when a hearing instrument stops working reliably, you could be a candidate for new hearing aids, or at least a significant repair. But there are other reasons you may want to make an appointment with your hearing care professional and consider an upgrade, even if things are working fine. 

Here are a few:

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Changes in your hearing

Remember, age-related hearing loss is a degenerative condition — it gets worse as you get older. If you’re not getting like-new performance from your hearing aids, it may be time to see your hearing care professional for an adjustment. Sometimes your hearing may change to the point where it’s beyond the range of your current hearing aids. You may need to upgrade to a more powerful instrument or one with new capabilities that meet your changing needs.

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Changes in your life

Changes in your occupation, living situation, outside interests or family life can put new demands on your hearing aids. A new job with a lot of conference calls and meetings, a teaching job, or a job in a noisy environment like a restaurant or construction site ... any of these situations can mean a change in your hearing requirements. So could getting married, moving in with family, taking up a new hobby, or moving to a group home where there is a lot of conversation and social activity. If you were originally fitted for hearing aids based on a quieter lifestyle, any of these situations could create a need for hearing aids with more power or new capabilities.

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Changes in hearing instruments

Advances in hearing technology have introduced a lot of features that weren’t available just a few years ago ... features you may have been waiting for but couldn’t get when you were first fitted. For example, across the board, Oticon hearing instruments are smarter than ever, working with your brain to do a better job of separating conversation from background noise and preserving the spatial ‘soundscape’ of a room — new features that enhance comprehension and reduce fatigue. The micro-brains inside these devices work hard to adjust automatically and optimize performance, to take the strain off your brain.

Today’s advanced hearing aids are more fun, too. They can connect easily to all the new electronic devices around you — TVs, computers, smartphones, audio equipment and more. And there are more options than ever for size and fit: more colors, completely invisible devices, and newer, more comfortable external hearing aids.

In short, it pays to keep up to date with advances in hearing technology, regardless of how well your current hearing aids are performing. Next time you visit your hearing care professional for new batteries or other services, try asking, “What’s new?” 

You may be amazed at what you find.

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