By Nicole Pottinger, H.I.S.
As the spring season approaches and we begin to venture out after being stuck indoors through the frigid cold winter months, we also tend to begin getting involved with social activities again. It’s also an ideal time to start attending appointments for our health if we didn’t do so during the winter. One of those important health appointments we should attend includes a hearing assessment, as hearing loss commonly develops in adults over 50 years of age. If you haven’t ever had a hearing assessment completed in the past, this is a great time to book an appointment to evaluate how you are hearing in terms of various frequencies of sound and with hearing speech. Untreated hearing loss is linked to depression, social isolation and a risk of development of memory conditions such as dementia. Ideally, you should have your hearing assessed annually. If you have already been attending appointments tohave your hearing assessed annually, and you happen to be a hearing aid user, this is also a great time to have your hearing aids cleaned and checked by your hearing healthcare professional. If there are any changes to your hearing thresholds after having it reassessed, your hearing healthcare professional will connect your hearing aids to the computer and reprogram the hearing aids to amplify at the appropriate levels in coordination with your latest hearing assessment.
Attending hearing aid aftercare service appointments is an important aspect of use of hearing aids. During these servicing appointments, the hearing aids are thoroughly cleaned and checked. Parts that have deteriorated will be replaced, wax that is obstructing receivers and microphone ports will be removed, and the sound quality will be evaluated. If there are any repairs needed to be completed on the hearing aids that cannot be taken care of in the clinic, they will be sent to the manufacturer for further servicing.
Most hearing aids include a hearing aid manufacturer repair warranty that is active within approximately one to three years from the initial purchase date, which typically covers the cost of the majority of out of office servicing. Your ear canals will be examined for wax build up during your service appointment, which can be removed by the hearing healthcare professional. Wax blockages in the ear canals can cause issues, such as the sound from the hearing aids being lowered and muffled. In the worst-case scenario, significant wax blockages will completely remove the ability to properly hear sound from the hearing aids at all and can produce a whistling noise known as feedback. It is highly recommended to attend these servicing appointments quarterly, to keep you hearing at your best not only come springtime, but throughout the span of the entire year.