Congratulations! You are finally and firmly on the right track. After several appointments and a few fumbled attempts at changing batteries, you are an expert hearing aid user! So now what? A few weeks ago, we talked about the importance of finding an excellent audiologist. This is when that research really pays off, and you can test your audiologist’s mettle.

You need to have your hearing aids professionally cleaned and tested quarterly. For this type of maintenance, you really don’t need to see the audiologist. Most audiologists have an assistant or technician who is well trained in hearing aid maintenance and care. In addition, most hearing clinics have a pretty liberal walk-in policy. Therefore, every few months, run by your provider’s office and give them your hearing aids and about 15 minutes of your time. When all is said and done, your aids should be squeaky clean, and you should feel confident you are hearing with them as well as possible.

Keep in mind that your hearing aid is an electronic device that is worn in a very humid ear for hours and hours per day. Something is bound to stop working eventually. Don’t panic. Remember that liberal walk-in policy? Take advantage of it! Most problems are minor and can be addressed on the spot. If a hearing aid needs to be sent to the manufacturer for repair, there is usually a loaner set available so you don’t have to spend two lopsided weeks not hearing well.

Annual hearing tests and programming visits are essential. You definitely need to make an appointment and spend time with the audiologist. Go back to your most important listening situations. Are they still important to you? Have you noticed any changes in your hearing? Has anything come up in the last year that your audiologist should be aware of (changes in vision, medical crises, etc.)? These annual visits allow you both to slow down and focus on the important stuff. Don’t miss the opportunity.

Whatever else might come up, let your audiologist know. Big family event? You definitely want to hear well for that. Make an appointment for a mid-year programming check and verification. Your provider won’t mind at all, and you will feel good about the effort and result.

Hear well and Stay Vibrant!