The average lifespan of a standard hearing aid is approximately three to seven years. How well you handle and maintain the hearing aid during that period will determine how long it lasts.
Your hearing aid will be programmed to your hearing profile. From time to time, that hearing aid will need to be fine-tuned to ensure you have the best possible experience while wearing it.
What is fine-tuning?
Fine-tuning a hearing aid refers to the process whereby a hearing healthcare professional will adjust the hearing aid and how it amplifies sound at different frequencies. The process is conducted based on the user’s feedback to the healthcare professional.
The primary goal of the adjustments is to ensure that the hearing aid meets the needs of the user and that the hearing aid meets and does not exceed specific hearing targets.
When the fine-tuning has been done, the hearing healthcare professional may schedule a follow-up appointment, approximately two weeks later. This is to address any further fine-tuning requirements. During the two weeks between appointments, the user can determine whether additional fine-tuning may be required by testing the aid in real-life situations.
How often does a hearing aid need retuned?
This will depend on the specific type of hearing aid. But, as a general rule, a hearing aid needs to be fine-tuned once every six months to a year. It may be best to schedule an annual hearing aid tune-up to ensure that the hearing aid meets the changing hearing needs of the user.
It’s best to remain proactive in fine-tuning a hearing aid to ensure that you can compensate for the progression of your hearing loss. Waiting too long may mean that you will need to replace your hearing aid.
The best approach may be to schedule hearing aid maintenance every six months. Doing this allows you to track any changes in your hearing and adjust your hearing aid accordingly.
Know when to fine-tune a hearing aid
A few common issues may require you to fine-tune your hearing aid if you are not on a regular maintenance schedule.
- When the user experiences problems with the audibility of their own voice. Their voice may sound unnatural or distorted to themselves.
- The user may experience difficulty hearing music. This includes hearing any kind of background music.
- Intelligibility may be a problem. The user may struggle to hear speech or hear someone speak on the radio or television.
- The sound quality may be an issue. The user may hear high-pitched or muffled sounds. Alternatively, sounds may come across as sharp or harsh.
- The user may experience trouble with hearing or receiving feedback.
- There may be issues with loudness. The hearing aid may pick up sounds and amplify these sounds, including voices, traffic, clattering, or environmental sounds. These sounds may come across as very harsh and cause the user extreme discomfort.
- The user may struggle to hear voices in the presence of background noises.