Maybe you have been wearing hearing aids for a while. Maybe you are considering your first device. Either way, you want to know that you are hearing your best. But how can you be sure? Your hearing aids are meant to support you, so you would think that all you need to do is pop them in and great hearing will be guaranteed.
Instantaneous relief is not always the case, however. Your hearing aids may help you hear better, but without verifying them you cannot know for sure that you’re hearing your best.
You need to verify your hearing aids. Unfortunately, only 15-30% of U.S. providers use advanced technologies such as real-ear microphone probes to test hearing aids to find out how well they work.
However, that 15-30 % of providers who do offer these services can use sophisticated technology to test your hearing aids while they’re in use. The real-ear microphone probe allows these practitioners to determine how well you hear, while other techniques, such as a speech mapping, verify how well your hearing aids are working. This allows the audiologist to scientifically and objectively measure the hearing aid’s performance.
Adjust Your Hearing Aids
If your audiologist measures your hearing aid performance and finds it is not right for your hearing loss, they may adjust your hearing aid to help you hear better. If the difference is significant, they may recommend a new hearing aid to better support your hearing.
Over time your prescription might change, so it’s a good idea to have regularly scheduled maintenance for your hearing aids. Most audiologists recommend cleaning and checking hearing aids every six to eight months. In addition, you should update your hearing test every 18 to 36 months. This allows your audiologist to monitor changes in your hearing and adjust or refit your hearing aids to help you hear your best. If you notice changes in your hearing, then it’s likely time to schedule an evaluation! If you notice sudden changes in your hearing, however, you should call your audiologist immediately. They can help diagnose any issues and can refer you to the appropriate specialist.
Advances in Digital Technology
Even if you do not notice changes in your hearing, you will still need to update your hearing aids from time to time to ensure that you are still hearing your best. That’s because technology is constantly advancing and new technology helps people hear even better.
A good recommendation is that you should consider updating your hearing aids every five to seven years. This ensures your hearing aid components are at full capacity but also to keep up with technological improvements in technology. Unlike the latest iPhone, however, the changes to hearing aid technology are more than incremental improvements: you may notice measurable improvements in your overall communication and performance. Staying on top of technological change can help you be sure that you hear your best.
Have Realistic Expectations
Of course, every technology has its limitations. While hearing aids will help you achieve the best hearing possible, you need to have realistic expectations of what you will gain from a hearing aid. Depending on your hearing loss, you may not hear as well as you once did, even with the best technology. Understanding your hearing loss can help you know what to expect from technology.
Experts like audiologists can also help you understand different makes and models of hearing aids, along with the different technologies. With so many options, it can seem overwhelming to select a hearing aid. An audiologist can help you better understand your needs and the market to help you select the best device so you can hear your best.