If you are walking around with an old-school ear trumpet in hand than clearly, it’s time for an upgrade. Making that call when you wear conventional hearing aids is trickier, though, so how does one know? You bought your hearing aids ten years ago, and they still get the job done, right?
While it may be true that older hearing aids are better than nothing, chances are what little benefit you get from them comes at a cost. Hearing aid technology has advanced in the last few years. It’s gone from analog to digital, for one thing, and there are features now that weren’t even in the design phase a decade ago. Consider some reasons it is time for you to be thinking about an upgrade.
The Old One is Not That Reliable
Older or even low-quality hearing aids have real problems like that annoying buzz you hear every once in awhile. How about feedback whenever you get close to a phone, that’s a lot of fun. Sometimes that shrill feedback comes out of nowhere, too. What caused it this time?
You’ve Gotten Used to Its Failings
You are used to sitting in quiet self-reflection while everyone around you engages in conversation or wondering why the air conditioning unit so loud. Remember the time your grandchild sang you a great song she learned at school, but you only heard every other word because your hearing aids kept cutting out. You still clapped, though.
These are all failings associated with old hearing aids. Tens years ago the focus was on turning up the volume. Today, hearing aids perform magic tricks like filtering out background noise, so say goodbye to the air conditioner. It was never really that loud.
The Old Ones are Bleeding Money
Cost is always a factor when it comes to a hearing aid upgrade. The new technology is not cheap, but neither is wearing old, out-of-date hearing aids. Analog devices need new batteries a lot. If you are replacing the battery on a daily basis, or even more often than that, the cost adds up.
Old hearings aids can potentially spend more time at the shop, too. If you think of your hearing aid as a 1992 Buick, you get the idea. It’s in the shop more than it is in your ear and repairs are not cheap.
Smart Technology is a Thing Now
Many modern hearing aids have Bluetooth capabilities. You won’t find that in an analog device. Having Bluetooth built into your digital hearing aid means it’s compatible with your phone, your computer, maybe even your television (unless they’re ten years old, too.)
Communication is the Key to Everything
Studies show that hearing loss can mean a lower paycheck. Doesn’t it make sense then that better hearing aids would be a career asset? You will hear your boss and customers better. You will follow directions without wondering if you got it right and had essential conversations without worrying about whether your hearing aids will hold up or not.
Of course, better communication means a better quality of life, as well. You don’t have to sit like a wallflower in the middle of conversations anymore. Jump in and engage with the people around you.
You Just Want Your Hearing Aid to be Cooler
When you look in the mirror at your old hearing aid, what words come to mind? Clunky? Obvious? Oh my god? One of the most significant benefits that come with replacing old hearing aids is style and flexibility. Today’s hearing aids come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. You can have one tucked so tight into your ear no one will ever see it, or you can make a fashion statement with a visible hearing aid in your favorite color.
Signs That It’s Time
Now you know all the reasons you should want a hearing aid upgrade, but not what things to specifically look for that say your device is at risk of being called an antique. Here are some telltale signs that the time has come:
- Your hearing has changed. You don’t hear as well as you used to even with the hearing aid in place.
- Your life has changed, and your hearing aid has a hard time keeping up. It’s a pain to take it out just to talk on the phone, or maybe you’ve changed jobs and now have to deal with more background noise.
- Your hearing aid keeps cutting out. It’s just not reliable anymore, and that’s a problem.
- You know for a fact your hearing aid is analog. Ouch, go digital fast.
- Your hearing aid feels heavy. Clunky, old technology weighs a lot.
- Your hearing aid is all you see when you look in a mirror. That old technology takes up a lot of space, too.
- You are replacing the batteries every day. Modern hearing aids are more energy efficient, and some come with rechargeable batteries.
It’s not brain surgery. If you’ve had your hearing aids for more than seven years, time to trade up and hear better.