Learn how to figure out when the best time for a hearing aid adjustment is

After receiving your hearing aids, an audiologist will set the devices to best fit your hearing needs and teach you how to properly care for them.

After a few months, however, you may begin to notice some tell-tale signs that your hearing aids need more adjustment — volume fluctuations, high-pitched sounds, and discomfort.

To get the most from your hearing aids, you need to have them adjusted, or re-programmed, on a regular basis.

RELATED: What Causes Tinnitus, or Ringing in the Ears

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Caring For Your Hearing Aids at Home

Hearing aids, just like any piece of technology, need proper care. You should regularly clean them with a soft cloth, check the batteries, and store them in a dry container. Keep in mind: You cannot adjust the specific settings on your hearing aid without an audiologist.

When to Have Your Hearing Aid Adjusted

Make appointments with your audiologist at least twice a year. You should also schedule a check-up if you’re experiencing discomfort or trouble hearing. Signs you need a hearing aid adjustment include:

  • Whistling-like sounds in your ear
  • Volume fluctuations
  • Additional hearing loss
  • Pain or discomfort in or around your ear

Hearing aid adjustments

It is normal to experience fluctuations in hearing, and at some point, your hearing aids will need to be reprogrammed.

Reprogramming is necessary for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Accidental misuse or improper handling of your hearing aids
  • An attempt to self-adjust hearing aid settings
  • Going an extended period of time without a professional adjustment

Your audiologist may adjust settings including frequency, volume, and background noise filtration. If your audiologist suspects a change in your hearing, he or she may recommend an additional hearing test. The results of the test help your audiologist set your hearing aids to a setting that benefits you most.

Sometimes, your device’s ear molds can deteriorate, which causes discomfort. Your audiologist can take new molds or adjust your current ones to better fit within the ear.

There are two main categories of hearing aids, analog and digital.

Types of Hearing Aids

Today, there are two main categories of hearing aids. Again, an audiologist is always required to adjust and set your hearing aid.

  • Analog hearing aids intensify all sounds and can be used to manage several different types of hearing loss.
  • Digital hearing aids, on the other hand, are more complex. They self-adjust to your specific type of hearing loss.
man holding ears

Making Your Appointment with an Audiologist

During a routine appointment, your audiologist will both ask about your experience with your hearing aids and clean them thoroughly. After you leave the office, it may take a few weeks to get used to your new hearing program or device mold. If discomfort or hearing troubles persist, you may need to return for an additional adjustment.

For more information about making an audiology appointment or if you have questions about your hearing aids, contact the UPMC Center for Audiology and Hearing Aids at (412) 647-2030.

About Ear Nose and Throat

The experts in the UPMC Department of Otolaryngology treat a variety of ear, nose, and throat (ENT) conditions in both children and adults. Our team includes board-certified physicians and highly skilled speech-language pathologists and audiologists. We provide both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options. Our research and clinical trials help to advance care for our patients. Find an ENT expert near you.