While it might be true that older hearing aids are better than no hearing aids, chances are what little advantage you get from them comes at a cost. Within the past few years, hearing aid technology has made considerable progress. Ten years ago many of the features of current hearing aids weren’t even in development, going digital for instance.
If you’re thinking about upgrading your hearing aids, there are a number of things you’ll have to do to select the right ones for your needs. A hearing exam to identify how your hearing has changed will be needed first. Once you understand how much hearing loss you have, you can start to narrow down your choices. It’s probably time for an upgrade for the following reasons.
Dependability of hearing aids
Older or even low-quality hearing aids have real problems, such as that irritating buzz you hear every once in a while. How about when you go near a phone and your hearing aids start to feedback? At times, they will squeal with feedback for no evident reason. Newer designs compensate for common problems so that you hear feedback less frequently.
Volume isn’t enough
Volume regulation was about the only function of hearing aids ten years ago. Hearing aids have a lot more technology and capability nowadays.
- Improved sound quality: Today’s hearing aids provide much higher sound quality than older models. Signal processing has gone to digital, which reproduces and amplifies sound in a more precise way. Additionally, many hearing aids now provide features such as numerous programs that can be customized to different listening environments.
- Voice focus: With some newer models the wearer can use a voice focusing function that allows them to focus on specific voices they want to hear. This is done by using directional microphones to pick up the sound of the desired voice and then boost it. Voice focus can be useful in loud environments or when the wearer is trying to hear somebody who is speaking softly.
- Background noise reduction: Contemporary hearing aids use numerous techniques to minimize background noise, including directional microphones, noise filters, and feedback cancellation. Noise filters reduce undesired sound while directional microphones are designed to detect sound right in front of you. Feedback cancellation helps to prevent the whistling sound that can occur when hearing aids aren’t properly fitted.
- Bluetooth capability: This feature lets hearing aids sync to other devices, such as smartphones, TVs, and other smart devices. This can be useful for streaming music or making phone calls.
You have to change the batteries – frequently
Cost is always a consideration when it comes to a hearing aid upgrade. The new technology isn’t cheap, but neither is using old, out-of-date hearing aids. Analog devices require new batteries frequently. If you’re replacing the battery every day, or even more often than that, the cost adds up.
Out-of-date hearing aids can oftentimes spend more time at the shop, too. Think of what a 1990 Chevy would be like and apply that idea to hearing aids. The costs of the constant repairs can get quickly out of hand.
You can’t hear your coworkers
Research demonstrates that people with untreated hearing loss will have a lower income. Doesn’t it seem sensible then, that better hearing aids would be a career asset? You’ll have an easier time hearing what customers, coworkers, and your boss are saying to you. You will follow instructions without wondering if you got it right and have essential conversations without being concerned about whether your hearing aids will hold up or not.
And with stronger communication, you will have a better quality of life. You don’t need to sit like a wallflower during discussions anymore. Get right back into being socially engaged.
You’re looking for something more subtle
What do you think when you look in the mirror and see that old hearing aid? Awkward? Obvious? OMG? Flexibility and style are some of the most significant reasons to replace those old hearing aids. Today’s hearing aids come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors. You could either get one in your favorite color and make a fashion statement or get one discrete enough that it will go undetected by others.
It’s time to consider upgrading your hearing aids if you’re not happy with the results you’re getting from your old pair. Technology has advanced significantly in the past few years, and there are now hearing aids available that can do things that were never possible in the past. Contact us today to discuss your options.