Do sounds muffled when you are in a group of people with other noises around you? Are you having to pay closer attention to people when they are talking to you? If you answered yes to any of these questions, or you know of someone that these questions apply to, continue reading. Florida Gulf Coast Hearing Centers wants to share our experience in helping you answer the question: Is it time to upgrade my hearing aids?
The Importance of Regularly Assessing Your Hearing Aids
Before you began to wear your hearing aids you had your hearing tested yearly. Now that you wear hearing aids and you can hear better, this doesn’t mean that your hearing tests should stop. It is important to continue to have your hearing and your hearing aids tested annually. The decrease that you experienced before wearing hearing aids doesn’t stop when you wear hearing aids, but only helps you hear at the last level of your last hearing exam. It is past time to have your hearing and hearing aids checked if you experience any of the following: 1. You have trouble listening in noisy environments or over the phone; 2. Your hearing aids don’t seem to be working as well as they used to; 3. Your hearing aids are bulky, embarrassing, unsightly, or make it difficult to enjoy the activities you love.
Another reason that you need to have your hearing and hearing assessed regularly has nothing to do with your own hearing but because of the advancements that have been made in hearing aid technology. Technological advancements have been made to where the hearing aids can process the sound to the brain in nanoseconds; this is faster than the detection ability of the brain. The bands of sounds that are received by hearing aids have expanded to where a hearing aid can provide support for only those frequencies of sound where an individual has a deficiency. This advancement allows the hearing aid to be customized to an individuals’ needs instead of amplifying all sounds even if there is not a deficiency. Along these lines, digital noise reduction systems are now available in hearing aids, allowing for undesirable noises to be reduced or eliminated like wind blowing not being amplified by your hearing aids. Newer hearing aids can now be paired with other devices like smoke detectors and fire alarms to alert you of emergencies. Pairing isn’t only available for emergencies but can now also be used to pair your hearing aids with your television and/or phone. Newer hearing aids are also using rechargeable batteries that takes the hassle out of carrying and changing out old batteries.
Signs that Indicate it’s Time to Upgrade Your Hearing Aids
Upgrading your hearing aids can either be a “want to” or a “have to”. Technological advances to hearing aids has added some bells and whistles like being able to connect your hearing aids to your phone, television, or other bluetooth devices. Hearing aids have also gotten smaller as the technology has decreased in size and allow for hearing aids to be more comfortable and less noticeable to the non-wearer.
Upgrades aren’t always a choice when it comes to your hearing aids. If your hearing has changed since your last hearing evaluation, your hearing aid will also need to change to reflect the changes in your hearing. In older adults this may be because of the degenerative condition of hearing loss, but it may also be the result of trauma to the ear. When you begin to have difficulty in understanding conversations in noisy environments with your hearing aids on and working, it is time for a hearing evaluation and upgrade. As the ear grows you will also need to change your hearing aids because the structure of your ear changes. A new earmold will need to be created so that the hearing aid fits perfectly and maximizes its results. Also as you age, your lifestyle will also change. You may change from a more sedentary job to retirement where you are more active and adventurous so your hearing aid will need to withstand a harsher and more rugged environment. You may also find yourself in a better financial situation that allows you to afford more appropriate and advanced hearing aid options that better fit your needs.
If you are in need of an evaluation of your hearing and/or your hearing aids, contact us at Florida Gulf Coast Hearing Centers to aid in your hearing journey. We have professionals on staff that can help you with the testing and evaluation that will help you determine the best hearing aid for your needs and continue to open up the world around you. Florida Gulf Coast Hearing Centers are located in Naples, Estero, and Physicians Regional Hospital.