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Hearing Care 101 – The Importance of Your Follow-Up Appointment
Q: I have a hearing aid follow-up appointment soon. What can I expect?
A: Better hearing is a journey, not a moment. Your hearing aid follow-up appointment is an important part of that journey. The more prepared you are for the follow-up, the more you’ll get out of it. Let’s take a look.
As much as you can between now and your follow-up, make note of how well you’re doing with your hearing aids. In what situations are you enjoying them? Which environments are challenging? Which important voices in your life still aren’t clear? Are the battery doors causing you trouble? Do they feel tight or loose in your ear? Bring your notes — and any questions you have — to your appointment.
This is the crux of the follow-up. Your provider will ask you questions, and vice versa. The more feedback you can offer, the better your provider can help. Every environment that gives you a challenge tells your provider valuable information about your hearing aid settings. Same with every loved one’s voice that still isn’t quite right. But the more emotional or psychological components are key too. Your provider will want you to describe your overall impression of the hearing aids, such as what you like and don’t like, which expectations were exceeded, and which went unmet. This, too, tells your provider more than you might realize. There’s no such thing as too much feedback at a follow-up appointment!
You learned a lot in your evaluation and fitting appointments. Part of your follow-up appointment will be devoted to reviewing the care and maintenance of your devices. You’ll also probably get a refresher on which programs do what, how to access them, and how to use the smartphone app (if applicable).
Your provider will use everything gathered in your feedback to make adjustments to your devices. This could include adding additional programs, fine-tuning existing ones, or providing you with different domes or tubing. If some of your feedback suggests your ears and brain are having trouble working together after years of hearing loss, you might be assigned exercises to help establish a stronger ear-brain relationship. It’s a lot like physical therapy after an injury. But in this case, it will most likely be tasks done on your computer at home.
The Next Step
Your provider will probably schedule another follow-up for a couple of weeks out. The more adjustments made or exercises assigned, the sooner it may be. Your provider wants to catch issues as soon as possible. They want you to thrive on your better-hearing journey just as much as you do!