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Ask Anna: When should I replace my hearing aids?

Ask Anna is a weekly advice column for the hearing loss community. 

Dear Anna: I got my new Phonak Sky Q hearing aids in December, and I love them! But prior to that fateful audiologist visit where I was introduced to my new hearing aids, I felt perfectly happy with my old ones. In fact, leading up to that visit, I was pretty adamant I would keep my old hearing aids, even if there were new ones available. Initially, I didn’t notice a big difference in my updated hearing technology, but now I notice that I hear more high-pitched sounds, and appreciate the new features that come along with my new hearing aids, such as the ability to stream music through accessories like the ComPilot, and hear people in groups better with the Roger Pen. So, I was wondering, is there ever a time that comes when I know to replace my hearing aids? Or should I leave it up to my audiologist? – Ellie in England. 

Dear Ellie, 

If you’re happy with your hearing aids, the decision to upgrade them can be difficult. However, even if you are happy with your old hearing aids, there could be some things you don’t know you’re missing by not getting new ones. Here are my five tips for knowing when to replace your hearing aids:

When they are more than 5-7 years old.

Hearing aids generally tend to work at their best until they are about 5-7 years old. Just like a computer or mobile phone, the technology gets outdated. After this time frame, internal parts can start to wear out and  the overall performance of your hearing aids won’t be as good as it was during the first few years. 

Read more: Updating my 7-Year-Old Hearing Aids

If your hearing has deteriorated

If you think your hearing has gotten worse over the years, go to see your audiologist who will be able to confirm if it has changed and by how much. Sometimes your hearing aid can simply be adjusted or reprogrammed. If there have been bigger changes to your hearing you may need another type or model of hearing aid. Either way your audiologist will work with you to find the best solution for your needs.

When they aren’t working!

If you’ve had your hearing aids repaired multiple times and they keep breaking, maybe this is a sign for some new ones. Try to find out from your audiologist  if it is the same problem that keeps occurring, or if it is a different problem every time. before you decide to buy new ones. It could be something that can be easily changed when you are using your hearing aids, which then solves the problem.

If your lifestyle has changed

Hearing aids are also adapted to different people’s lifestyles, for example if you play a lot of sport it’s likely you’ll be given waterproof hearing aids as compared to someone who doesn’t. If you’ve changed your job, maybe look and see which hearing aids on the market are best suited to you.

When new technology becomes available

Technology in hearing aids is changing all the time and very quickly it could be that something new that is introduced would be able to give you more benefits. It is always worth checking on line or asking your audiologist if there is anything new that could be worth you trying out.

Do you have a question for Anna? Email: feedback@hearinglikeme.com

The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Hearing Like Me website. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency medical services immediately.
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Anna is currently the Senior Audiology Manager at Phonak. She has worked in the field of audiology and hearing aids for 25 years, and is passionate about all things audiology.
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Anna is currently the Senior Audiology Manager at Phonak. She has worked in the field of audiology and hearing aids for 25 years, and is passionate about all things audiology.