Hearing aids are durable, adaptive, and in it for the long haul. But there are instances when starting over with a new one might be called for.

One obvious driver of upgrading is that your hearing is, unfortunately, degrading. Weakening capabilities may have to be met with stronger technology.

Even when your unit is doing its primary job well — enabling you to hear well — if it’s more than a few years old it may not be keeping up with the tech (like many a computer and smartphone). There are a wide variety of capabilities now available in hearing aids that weren’t there even a few years ago.

These revolve around interconnectivity with other digital devices and, by extension, the Internet of things (IoT). Contemporary hearing aids can wirelessly communicate with a wide variety of other digital components, including not only smartphones, computers, TVs, and personal listening devices, but even things like a doorbell or refrigerator. A wide range of sound — music, reminders, notices — can be transmitted directly to your hearing aid.

Newer hearing aids also tend to be smaller, lighter, and less conspicuous. If you’re interested in being more “stealth” about having a hearing aid, then seeing what’s now on the market might be advisable.

Another issue with older models is that spare parts are no longer being made for them. So, if something wears out or fails you may find yourself shopping for a new hearing aid — with little advance notice — anyway.

Finally, newer products have longer battery life and, because of their connectivity, can be controlled via computers, smartphones, or tablets. This means fumbling around with tiny control knobs or the chore of swapping out batteries can be lessened or eliminated.