It is important to ensure that you get the most out of your hearing aids, for the longest possible time. This is done through follow-up care for your hearing aids which includes maintenance, adjustments, services, and repairs.
General hearing aid care
There are a few things you can do as part of your daily hearing aid routine to extend the life of your hearing aids and keep them working well. For example:
- Wipe down your hearing aids with a clean, dry cloth after taking them out of your ears to remove any dirt or oil that may have built up during the day.
- Place the hearing aids in a dehumidifier to ensure that any moisture in the hearing aids is removed.
- Check for wax build-up in your slim tube. earmould, receiver, and dome, as a wax blockage is the most common reason for a hearing aid to suddenly stop working. If you have a receiver-in-canal hearing aid, it should come with backup wax guards that your hearing health professional will show you how to change.
What happens if my hearing aids stop working?
The first step is to contact your hearing health professional, either by making an appointment or through a telecare app if your hearing aid provider has that option. Your hearing health professional may be able to help you if your problem is easy to fix, such as a wax build-up or battery malfunction. Alternatively, your hearing aids may need to be sent in for a service. Your hearing aids must be serviced only by their manufacturer as they have specialists who are highly trained to open and handle the devices’ intricate parts.
You may be without your hearing aids for a few days to a week depending on how far away the manufacturer is. During this time, to ensure that you don’t miss out on anything around you, your hearing health professional may be able to loan you a temporary pair of hearing aids or program your old pair if available. Some people opt to do the service one hearing aid at a time. Remember to ask your hearing health professional what options are available to you during your hearing aids’ service time, and be sure to keep your older hearing aids in a safe place just in case.
How often should my hearing aids be serviced?
A service is recommended every six months to one year while your hearing aids are under warranty (which is generally between one and three years). This helps to extend their lifespan. Under warranty, the service should be free; you may just need to pay for postage. Out of warranty, the hearing aid company should send you a quote for the cost of the repair, which will come with a warranty of a few months. A hearing aid’s lifespan is typically about five years. At this point, it is sometimes better to consider new hearing aids rather than repairing the old ones – this will be something to discuss with your hearing health professional when the time comes.
Why are adjustments needed?
Another reason your hearing aids’ sound quality may seem to deteriorate over time is if your hearing changes. For example, age-related hearing loss is often progressive, with either subtle or significant changes from one year to the next. Therefore, hearing aid check-ups are recommended every six months to one year so that your hearing aid settings can be updated if required.
Additionally, people can feel quite overwhelmed at the beginning with their new hearing aids when suddenly they hear every whistle of the kettle, the drip of the tap, and the hum of the fridge. When your hearing aids are first programmed, they are often set to produce a sound that is just lower than what you require. This is to give your brain a chance to get used to hearing the sounds you may not have heard for many years. With time, you may find that you would like them to be a bit louder. It is then important to contact your hearing health professional so that the settings can be adjusted to match your hearing targets.
You may also notice that in certain environments you need more sound, while in other places the hearing aids are too loud. Your hearing health professional can fine-tune your hearing aid settings and even add additional programs that are optimized for specific environments such as a program for watching TV, listening to music, or focusing on speech when in a noisy restaurant.
When are adjustments needed?
Should there be any problems, contact your hearing health professional as soon as possible. If your hearing aids have a telecare option, they may be able to make the required adjustments via the app that can then be uploaded onto your hearing aids, without needing an actual appointment. Alternatively, you will need to go in to see your hearing health professional. If you have bought your hearing aids online, you may need to courier them to your provider to make the adjustments and send them back.
Whether you require follow-up adjustments or not, it is important to be in contact with your hearing health professional every six months to a year. During these contacts, you should have another hearing test to see if there have been any changes.
The cost of maintaining hearing aids
Apart from the upfront cost of hearing aids, additional expenses you may incur include follow-up adjustment appointments (depending on your hearing health professional’s follow-up policies), postage for sending your hearing aids for repairs, follow-up tests, and repairs out of warranty. You may also need to pay for consumables such as hearing aid batteries, wax guards, domes, slim tubes, or earmolds.
These routines can seem overwhelming at first. The best policy to follow is to contact a Lexie hearing expert if you have questions. By doing this, you ensure that your hearing aids are continually working for you to the best of their ability.