If your hearing instruments are over 2 years old there has been huge advancements in sound reproduction and the control of speech weighted background noise... aka crowd noise…aka… restaurant noise…aka…clubhouse noise. Often, I am asked how long should hearing instruments last? How do I know if I should replace them? An average lifespan of hearing instruments is 4-6 years. Many conditions or obstacles can change this number.
If the hearing instruments that you purchase are in the top level of technology, then you can expect the technology to last longer and often the manufacturers will give updates to the hearing instruments through your hearing health care providers computer. Technology in the lower tiers usually is not offered updates and therefore do not last as long; nor do they provide as much programming flexibility for future shifts in hearing.
Hearing devices today are very sophisticated. They are tiny little computers with artificial intelligence sensors (AI), computer processors, wireless & Bluetooth antennas, and gyroscopes to calculate head movement. They have top nano coating externally and internally to protect from moisture, oil, dirt salt and humidity. On top of that they are built specifically to your prescriptive hearing needs.
Even though a hearing instrument can last for many years...even longer than 6 years for some people... it doesn’t mean that it won’t break down. It doesn’t mean that the device should not be replaced. If for example, your hearing instrument breaks down and needs to go into the manufacturer it should be determined (with a complete hearing evaluation) if the instruments still have the ability to provide your hearing prescription. Spending several hundred dollars on a repair bill for a hearing instrument that has older technology and doesn’t fit the need of the patient is a poor choice. That money is better spent on better technology thus providing better hearing.
Hearing instruments go through a lot. They sit on top of the ear or in the ear with a lot of sweat, wax, oils, flaky skin, hair, and scalp debris. They get dropped. They clang around in purses or in pockets. They end up in the pool or sometimes in the kitchen sink. If you think about it...the average hearing instrument leads a rough life! Because of this “life-style” we recommend at least 6 month cleaning on your ears, hearing instruments and the charger (if rechargeable).., Some people may produce more ear wax and thus need to be seen sooner for ear wax removal. When the patient preforms daily cleaning of their hearing instruments, they do last longer. Just like all electronics and components, they wear out...they break down.
Newer components, newer technology does provide better hearing and better quality of life. The best way to know if your current hearing instruments are “as good as it gets” concerning your hearing is to ask your hearing health care provider for a demonstration of the newer technology. Let your ears tell you if its better. You can be the judge if “you are hearing as well as you should be”. To Hear Better Is To Live Better!