By Rebecca Krukemyer, Au.D.
In this day and age when people are always looking for a cheaper way to obtain products and services, don’t discount the value found in professional expertise and excellent customer service. Hearing instruments, in particular, are not a one-and-done purchase. When you purchase hearing instruments, you are also purchasing the professional services that are necessary for optimal sound quality.
First, it is important to understand that hearing aids require routine maintenance. Ear wax and debris requires that the instruments get professionally cleaned at least twice a year. When the receivers and microphones become clogged with wax and debris they will not work correctly and may not work at all.
Secondly, even though the fitting is based on a prescription, experience and knowledge is required to fine tune these instruments for optimal sound quality. Since hearing loss can change over time, necessitating a change in prescription, a hearing re-evaluation is recommended every 2-3 years.
Finally, follow-up fittings are just as important as the initial fitting to ensure proper fit, comfort, and satisfaction. Your audiologist can fine tune and provide additional programs in the hearing aids to address your unique listening environments. Assistive listening devices such as Bluetooth streamers can also be introduced as needed. Strategies for improving communication in difficult listening situations are also addressed at follow up visits.
Don’t ignore the benefits of purchasing hearing instruments from a professional. The knowledge and experience of an audiologist will help provide hearing aid success.