Should I Upgrade My Hearing Aid?

If your hearing aid stops working, you’ll want to have it repaired or replaced as soon as possible. But should you consider upgrading to a new device if your current hearing aid is still working?

When patients ask me this, my answer is always “maybe.” Upgrading to a new device can offer many advantages, but it depends on your unique circumstances. 

It would certainly make sense to repair your hearing aid to get the most out of what you have got, but it is important to know what your options are and to weigh your decision accordingly – after all, hearing is one of your most important senses and you should absolutely be maximizing your experience of sound with the technology that is available.

How Long Do Hearing Aids Last?

Generally speaking, hearing aids last about five years. You may get more or less use from your device, but seven years is usually the upper end of a hearing aid’s useful life. 

The specific brand, maintenance schedule, and amount of wear and tear will determine how long it lasts. Even if your hearing aid seems to work well and is within the typical lifespan, you may want to upgrade if the device isn’t performing as you’d expect. 

Three Reasons to Upgrade Your Hearing Aids

Your Hearing Changes

Unfortunately, hearing loss is a degenerative condition, which means it gets worse over time. If your hearing aid isn’t performing like it did when it was brand new, it could be due to changes in your hearing. If your hearing has deteriorated past your current device’s capabilities, a more powerful device may serve you better. 

Your Lifestyle Changes

A new job, different living situation, new hobbies, or other lifestyle changes may require an upgrade. Maybe you’ve taken up biking, but your bike helmet interferes with your behind-the-ear hearing aid. A tiny in-the-ear model may be a more comfortable choice. Or, you want to link your smartphone to your hearing aid so you can stream audio and phone calls. A newer hearing aid may offer direct connectivity without using a cumbersome intermediary device. 

Hearing Aid Technology Changes

Hearing aid technology is advancing in ways we would never have imagined just a few years ago. The newest hearing aids help your brain process speech faster. That means you understand what’s being said easier and with less listening fatigue. Modern hearing aids are also equipped with noise reduction technology and directional microphones that help you better understand speech in noisy environments. Even if you have a relatively new hearing aid, you may be surprised to learn what all the latest models have to offer. 

What Should I Do With My Old Hearing Aids?

If you choose to upgrade, you may wonder what to do with your old hearing aids. Since they still work, you certainly don’t want to toss them in the garbage or the back of the old junk draw. Some hearing aid manufacturers will allow you to trade in an old model for an upgraded version. By doing so, you’ll receive a discount on the purchase of a newer model. Or, consider donating your hearing aids to a charitable organization. The Hearing Aid Project and Lions Clubs International are credible places to donate.  

Audiology Associates Provides You With Hearing Aid Recommendations

Your decision to upgrade will depend on many factors. Ultimately, it would help if you considered how well your hearing aid is working for you. 

Today’s hearing aids offer more features and advanced technology that allow you to hear better and with less listening effort. 

Today, get in touch to learn your options for a newer hearing aid that fits your lifestyle and expectations for a superior listening experience. 


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Briana Bruno Holtan, Au.D. , F.A.A.A.

Dr. Bruno Holtan is the co-owner of Audiology Associates, Inc. and received her Master’s degree (M.S.) in Audiology from Towson State University and Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degree from the Arizona School of Health Sciences. She hails from Norfolk, Virginia. She grew fond of the Baltimore area due in large part to the late Dr. Craig Johnson, an advocate for autonomy in audiology, when she joined the Audiology Associates, Inc. team in 1997 and was mentored by Dr. Johnson throughout her early career. She has extensive knowledge of and experience in the evaluation and fitting of advanced state-of-the-art hearing aid technologies. Dr. Bruno Holtan uniquely combines this knowledge and experience with the ability to understand patient needs and concerns. She feels that understanding each patient’s life experiences and lifestyle is not only important but is also critical to improving their hearing needs. In addition to her clinical responsibilities, Dr. Bruno Holtan has served as the Treasurer and President of the Maryland Academy of Audiology. She has worked tirelessly on behalf of audiologists and consumers on both the state and federal legislative fronts. She is co-author of “Institutionalizing Patient’s Freedom of Choice”, a published article in “Audiology Today.” Dr. Bruno Holtan is married. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Golden Retriever, and immediate and extended families. She also enjoys gardening, hiking, and fishing.

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