When was the last time you had your hearing aid checked? Hearing health advocates focus most of their energy on encouraging first-timers to have their hearing checked, but that’s where the talk usually stops.
Once you’ve received your initial pair of hearing aids, the rest is left up to you and your doctor. There aren’t any advocacy articles checking in on your hearing maintenance schedule, asking how you take care of them, how often you visit your doctor or how well your hearing aids work for you.
Regular visits to the audiologist are important to maintain the effectiveness of your hearing aid, since hearing aids can malfunction and your hearing also changes over time. It’s recommended that you visit your audiologist every six months to have your hearing aid professionally cleaned and checked, and to clean and check them yourself every day.
Our online hearing check can help you determine if you’re overdue for a trip to your audiologist. A simple set of questions will gauge how well your hearing aid has been working for you, and whether or not a doctor’s visit is urgent.
The most common reasons hearing aids malfunction are moisture and ear wax, both of which are issues everyone faces on a daily basis. Ear wax is a naturally occurring substance of the ear that is designed to lubricate the skin and protect the ear from bacteria. Ear wax build-up, however, can hinder your hearing ability and clog your hearing aid.
Moisture damage can come from just about anywhere: a stretch of muggy weather in the summer, rain, the swimming pool, the sauna, or just by leaving your hearing aid on the bathroom sink when you shower.
Once you become comfortable with your hearing aids, the maintenance schedule might not seem as important to you. Remember that your brain can adapt to changes in your hearing, so you might not always notice when your hearing ability is declining. Routine check-ups, while they can be monotonous and inconvenient, are essential to ensuring your hearing aid’s peak performance.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association recommends performing the following as part of your hearing aid’s daily care:
- Perform listening checks: your audiologist can show you what to listen for in locating problems with your hearing aid’s functionality.
- Check batteries: batteries typically last one to two weeks, depending on the size of your hearing aid and how frequently you use it.
- Clean the hearing aids regularly with a soft, dry cloth.
- Keep your hearing aid in a drying container: this will prolong your hearing aid’s life by preventing moisture from building up.
- Avoid feedback: If this occurs frequently, it could mean your hearing aid is improperly fitted or there is a build-up of earwax in your ear.
Because hearing loss is caused by a number of different factors, the shape and severity of your hearing loss is unique to you. Your audiologist will track the evolution of your hearing loss over time, and will recommend the best possible solutions.
What are you waiting for? Healthy Hearing’s online hearing check is available here. Give yourself a check-up today!