Now that you have had your initial visit with your hearing care professional and have been fitted with your hearing aid(s), it’s important that you keep continuing along the road to better hearing and a better quality of life. Like most things, your hearing health and hearing aids can benefit from routine care and maintenance. That’s why after your hearing aid fitting, your hearing healthcare professional will likely recommend follow-up appointments. These routine visits offer great opportunities for you to ask your hearing professional questions, have maintenance performed on your hearing aids, and keep you hearing your best.
The Importance of Follow-Up Appointments with Your Hearing Professional
- Your hearing loss can change over time and sometimes these changes can require some adjustments of the programming in your hearing aids in order to help you continue to hear well. Sometimes programming changes are also needed due to changing preferences or lifestyles.
- Routine follow-up care for hearing aids is critical in keeping them functioning well and you hearing clearly. It is recommended that you schedule an appointment for a proper hearing aid cleaning approximately two to three times a year. This is also a great opportunity for minor repairs to be performed on your hearing aids. Doing this will keep your hearing aid device(s) functioning at top performance.
- Attentive follow-up care to monitor and treat your hearing loss is important. Your hearing provider can offer you support while taking care of your hearing loss needs for years to come. Do not be afraid to call or go in to see your hearing health professional they are there to help you.
Here is what to expect during these follow up visits:
Discuss Questions or Concerns with Your Hearing Care Professional
You may want to see your audiologist after your initial hearing aid fitting appointment simply to ask some questions or discuss any concerns. Communication with your audiologist is a good thing, because it will let them know what you are concerned about, as well as give them the opportunity to give you more information about your hearing aids and how they work.
Be prepared to discuss the following:
- Your overall experiences using your hearing aids – what you like and don’t like, any expectations exceeded, met, or let down
- Your experiences using your hearing aids in different situations and environments – what’s working well and what could be better
- Your satisfaction with the service you’ve received from the hearing aid provider and staff – phone call returned, questions answered, appointments kept, and more
Check the Hearing Aid Fit
If there is a problem with the fit of your hearing aids, this will be the time to bring it up and address any issues. This could range from a sore spot in your ear canal or the wrong size tubing which is not allowing your hearing aid(s) to stay in place. Once they are identified, your hearing care professional will be able to fix all of the problems as quickly and easily as possible.
Re-Test Your Hearing
Your hearing aid provider will periodically assess how much benefit you are receiving from your hearing aids. This will be gathered through an interview or questionnaire. It is also vital to have your hearing checked regularly to ensure your hearing aids are programmed appropriate for your loss. You will also be tested on how you hear with and without the hearing aids in different environments.
Make Any Necessary Hearing Aid Adjustments
After you receive your hearing aids, you should expect to visit your hearing care provider at least a few more times in the coming weeks to have your hearing aids adjusted until you are completely satisfied with the result. As time goes on, your hearing care professional will assess the type of follow up schedule that is right for you. During these visits, your hearing aid provider will clean and tune up your hearing aids, and help you with any specific issues you may have.
Discuss Hearing Aid Repairs/Maintenance and Warranties
Like most electronic gadgets, hearing aids come with manufacturer warranties. While these often differ depending on the manufacturer, these warranties typically cover the following:
- Repairs. These normally extend between one and four years from date of purchase. The exact repairs covered will likely cover breakage and component failures.
- Loss and damage. May also extend from one to four years and typically gives you one free replacement for loss or irreparable breakdown occurring during the warranty period. A deductible will likely apply.
- Extended warranty. Most warranties can be extended beyond what is initially offered (e.g., a two year warranty can be extended to four) for an additional fee. Most manufacturers don’t offer warranties beyond four years.
Here are a few tips and ideas on how to make the most of your follow-up visits and maximize your time spent with your hearing care professional:
- Try keeping a detailed journal about your experience with your hearing aid(s) since your last visit and write down any concerns or questions that may have arisen. This can include any new sounds that you have heard since you began wearing your device(s) or making note of environments or situations where your hearing aids work great and where you wished they performed better. The more details you can share with your hearing care provider, the better as they’ll be able to adjust settings and offer advice to improve listening quality and satisfaction.
- Bring a third party with you to your appointment. It can be very helpful to bring a friend or family member along to your appointments. Your loved ones may also have additional insight and unique perspectives to offer your hearing professional about your adjustment to hearing aids. If necessary, ask a third party to take notes or help remind you of any important information.
- Build a relationship with your hearing care professional; they can be one of your biggest advocates in your journey to better hearing. They will help you clean and maintain your hearing aids, answer any questions you have, keep you updated on changing technology, and provide counseling during this time of adjustment. It is important to find a professional you can trust, and continue to visit them for routine follow-up appointments.
We hope this has helped you understand the importance of monitoring and treating your hearing loss. If you haven’t already done so and would like to schedule a follow-up appointment with your hearing care professional, contact us at Kenwood Hearing and schedule an appointment today.