Your hearing aids and your car have something in common – you’re comfortable with how they fit into your life. While most people consider getting a new car every three or four years due to improvements, that’s often not the case with hearing aids. Hearing aids have a lifespan of three to seven years. But waiting for them to conk out before you consider making a change may not be beneficial. Just as with cars, advancements in hearing aids are made every year. You may find that new units will make your life a whole lot easier! Here are three reasons to upgrade your hearing aids.

1. Improvements in performance

After several years of wearing hearing aids, some people notice that they don’t fit as well and may even be uncomfortable. If that’s the case, an upgrade can provide better comfort and improved hearing. Sometimes, despite the best daily care, hearing aids begin to deteriorate due to exposure to earwax, dust and moisture. Older units may make buzzing or crackling noises that are distractions.

If you’ve had to send your hearing aids out for several repairs or if the batteries are draining faster and faster, it could be time for a change.

Perhaps your hearing has changed. If it seems as if your hearing aids aren’t performing well, it’s difficult to hear in noisy situations, or you’re not hearing all the words in a conversation, an upgrade may help.

2. Improvements in style

If you wear the larger analog-style hearing aids, it’s time to look into the newer, smaller digital units. Not only do these instruments improve your hearing by reducing distortion and background noise, but they also are less noticeable. Some of the newer hearing aids are so small they fit inside the ear canal and are invisible. Others blend so well with your skin tone they’re hardly noticeable. Manufacturers also are offering many different colors so wearers can match their hair color or even stand out with bright bold colors.

3. Improvements in technology

Regardless of size, today’s units have some very interesting features. These new hearing aids can communicate wirelessly with your phone, your television, your mp3 player and other electronic devices. For people whose jobs require them to be on the phone for hours, this advancement is a blessing. Watching TV with your family allows them to keep the volume at a comfortable level while you hear the show directly through your hearing aids.

Some hearing aids have rechargeable batteries, relieving you of changing those tiny batteries every few days. How about waterproof hearing aids? If you swim or regularly workout, this may be a worthwhile upgrade.

As you review these three reasons to upgrade your hearing aids, ask yourself a few questions: are my current hearing aids serving my needs? Will new features improve my day-to-day routine? Will I be more productive at work? If it appears that an upgrade will make life easier and richer, it’s time to talk to your audiologist.