I often meet new patients at screenings for church groups or organizations, and a few of these new patients already wear hearing aids. I always like to ask, “How do you think your hearing aids are working currently?” and “When was the last time you saw your hearing health care professional about your hearing aids?”
There is one constant that I have noticed over the years. If the patient reports the hearing aids are not working to their satisfaction, they also say they have not returned to have the hearing aids serviced or adjusted. If a hearing aid is purchased, it cannot be correctly programmed if not handled by an audiologist. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the quality of their hearing. However, after getting the hearing aid programmed, it is still imperative that patients get checkups. The inability to get their hearing aids checked causes patients to develop a tolerance for inefficient hearing aids and causes them to struggle to hear clearly.
There must be consistency in regular checkups to conduct tests to analyze hearing aids due to real-time feedback. I use different background noises such as crowds and other sounds to adjust the hearing aid accordingly to thrive in all environments. These tests allow me to assess a patient’s visible speech mapping to see their hearing aid’s performance and exhibit the strengths and weaknesses of their hearing abilities. While hearing aids’ fundamentals can be adjusted by patients – volume, frequency, intensity levels, compression ratios, max power output, noise reduction, and microphone parameters cannot be modified without an audiologist present. The goal is to fine-tune the device to a perfect fit with noise reduction and feedback reduction algorithms.
Accessible Hearing Aids provides clean, and checks on all hearing aids as an initial consultation about your hearing health. Checkups on hearing aids are essential because your hearing will likely change over the lifespan of hearing aids as will your needs.
My recommendation for those who purchase hearing aids from Accessible Hearing Aids is a minimum of two visits in the first month. At these visits, we will adjust your hearing aid to fit your needs. To monitor the adjustments needed, I recommend least one visit every 3-4 months to clean and maintain your hearing aids. I also recommend having one hearing test per year to monitor your hearing acuity and update hearing aids accordingly.
Following the above recommendations reduces the risk of small problems with the hearing aids becoming significant issues. Although programming a hearing aid may include a learning curve for the brain, my goal is to keep hearing aids out of a sock drawer and on your ears to help you maintain the lifestyle you wish to lead.
Dr. Joe Griffith, AuD, CCC-A, is a certified audiologist who makes “house calls”. Call him at (504) 738-4557 or visit www.accessiblehearingaids.com to schedule your hearing test today. You are just a phone call away from the hearing help you need and deserve.