How do you know when your hearing aids need to be adjusted?

If you are one of the 466 million people around the world with hearing loss wearing hearing aids, you’ll know the dramatic improvements they can make to your hearing and quality of life. However, while hearing aids are most certainly beneficial, they do wear after years of use.

When you first get your hearing aids, your hearing care professional will have set them to best fit your specific hearing needs. However, after a few months, you may start to notice certain signs that your hearing aids need further adjustment. Regular hearing aid tuning ensures you always get the most out of your hearing aids.

When do you need hearing aid tuning?

It’s a good idea to see your hearing care professional at least twice a year. You should also schedule an appointment if you are experiencing trouble hearing or discomfort. Key signs that your hearing aids need adjustment can include:

1. Fluctuating volume

Hearing aids are specifically designed to enable the adjustment of volume quite easily. If you find that you can no longer adjust your hearing aids in this way, you should take your hearing aid to be checked by your hearing care professional for repair or hearing aid tuning.

2. Whistling sound

You may begin to notice that your hearing aid has a continuous whistling sound. If this is the case, it may mean that there is a fault with the hearing aid. Alternatively, the whistling sound could be due to a build-up of earwax in your ears or the earpiece not fitting correctly. If the whistling sound seems constant, take out the hearing aid and arrange for a professional to reduce the amount of earwax. Put the hearing aid back in and see if there’s any improvement. If this doesn’t work, you should have the device looked at by a hearing care professional.

3. Increased hearing loss

If you begin to notice that your hearing is getting worse, you should schedule an appointment with your hearing care professional to have your hearing checked, and take your hearing aid along so that it can be checked as well. They will also be able to review the device and determine whether it is still appropriate for you. Your hearing care professional may recommend you change the model or upgrade your hearing aid.

4. Hearing aid stops working

When a hearing aid stops working or no longer delivers the sound quality you expect, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you automatically need to get a new one. Hearing aid tuning or even simply replacing the battery is enough to resolve the issue. It’s also a good idea to check the wire or tubing that is used to connect the mold to the receiver. This can often become blocked by excessive earwax which makes it difficult to pass sound through. If this is the case then this tubing will need to be replaced.

Hearing aid tuning

A variety of factors can cause your hearing aid to need adjusting and reprogramming, this can include:

  • Improper handling of your hearing aids
  • Attempting to adjust your hearing aid settings yourself
  • Going for too long without a professional adjustment by a hearing care professional

Your hearing aid may also need repairs or returning due to an excessive build-up of earwax or exposure to humidity to water.

Hearing aid adjustments

Your hearing care professional may adjust the hearing aid settings such as volume, frequency, and noise filtration. However, if they suspect there has been a change to your hearing loss, they may suggest you have a further hearing evaluation. The results will then enable your hearing care professional to retune your hearing aids so that they best suit you. If your hearing aids have begun to feel uncomfortable, it may be that the earmolds have started to not fit properly. Your hearing care professional will either adjust your current molds so they fit better within your ear or take new impressions to make new molds.

Caring for your hearing aids at home

Hearing aids can last from three to five years. For some users, they can even last much longer. The lifespan of a hearing aid can vary depending on the quality of the device, how well it has been looked after and the amount of wear and tear it experiences daily. Besides frequent hearing aid tuning, just like any other piece of technology, your hearing aids need proper care to keep your hearing aids working effectively. Regularly clean your hearing aids with a soft cloth or brush provided, check the batteries and keep them stored in a clean and dry container, make sure you remove the batteries when your devices are not in use.

Your hearing aids use state-of-the-art technology to meet the many requirements of different challenging listening situations. However, having them in your ears for many hours a day, every day can lead to wear and tear or the device requiring adjustments. When your hearing aid stops working properly, you may need new hearing aids or just hearing aid tuning by your hearing care professional to get the device back into full working order.

With you on your journey to better hearing.

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