Naturally, your hearing aid device performance can change over time. Sometimes hearing aid problems are due to simple issues we can take care of during a routine clean and check.
For example, debris can build up in the receiver or microphone of your devices. In fact, wax and moisture are the most common causes of hearing aid malfunction.
With any technology, maintenance is required to ensure that you are getting the most out of your device. Hearing instruments are no exception.
A simple clean & check at Pacific Hearing Service is the best thing you can do to be sure you are getting the maximum benefit from your hearing instruments.
After caring for thousands of patients across Silicon Valley, our team has the expertise and experience to check all types of hearing devices.
Our patients frequently tell us their hearing aids sound clearer after a clean and check appointment.
What is Included in a Clean & Check?
The first thing we do is wipe them down and visually check the microphone and receiver openings to see if they are clogged with wax. We will remove as much as possible using brushes and small cleaning tools. After that, one of the most important things we do is use a specialized suction machine to clear debris from these openings.
Specific protocols vary depending on the type of hearing aid you have but may include any of the following:
- Replacing or cleaning the domes and anchors
- Cleaning the earmold in an ultrasonic cleaner
- Changing the tubing for behind-the-ear hearing aids
- Replacing wax traps
- Cleaning or replacing microphone covers
We know through many years of experience, a common cause of hearing aid malfunction is moisture. We always end the clean and check process by putting the hearing aids in our dehumidifier.
It’s amazing how much better hearing aids sound when they have been cleaned, and moisture has been removed.
We recommend a clean and check approximately every two months – the need varies from person to person. Ask your audiologist how often you should schedule a clean and check.
How Much Does it Cost?
For patients who purchased their hearing aids through Pacific Hearing Service, this is a complimentary service. If you purchased your hearing aids elsewhere, we are happy to help you out, and a small fee will apply.
Our 19-Point Evaluation
The clean and check is important for proper maintenance of your hearing instruments, but it’s not the whole story. We recommend you see your PHS audiologist every 6 months for a comprehensive 19-point inspection.
This is particularly important as it tells us if your hearing aid is suited to you and how well your device performs.
What is a 19-point inspection?
The 19-point inspection is your way of ensuring that you get the best possible performance from your hearing devices throughout their entire life.
Why do I need a 19-point inspection?
You want to make sure your hearing devices work as well today as when they were brand new. Hearing aids are sophisticated electronic devices that must work in a hostile environment containing moisture, earwax, debris, dust, oils from your fingertips, etc.
After hundreds of hours, this exposure can lead to failure of electronic parts. It can be difficult for you to notice this degradation because it happens slowly over time.
You may think your hearing has changed, the person you are talking to has a soft voice (mumbles), or that the background noise is the culprit. The 19-point inspection identifies any issues with the electronics or other components of the hearing device.
What happens if my hearing device fails the 19-point inspection?
We often find problems before our patients notice them—a hearing aid may be a bit weak or have some distortion. Since most hearing aids are under warranty, we can have them serviced for no additional charge.
We’ve got your back by providing you with loaners to keep you connected and going strong. We also handle all the processing, including completing paperwork, shipping, and instructions to the manufacturer.
We perform a full 19-point inspection upon the return of the instrument to ensure the problems were corrected. We contact you when your hearing aid has passed our quality control to schedule a convenient time for you to pick it up and have it paired to your other hearing aid and phone.
What are the components of a 19-point inspection? Click here.
What is ANSI?
Step #15 of our 19-point inspection is the most technical. Hearing aids are medical devices that must meet ANSI (American National Standards Institute) specifications for maximum power output, gain, distortion, equivalent input noise, and battery drain.
We evaluate every hearing aid that comes into our clinic using these criteria. When hearing aids do not meet these specifications, we either repair/replace components and then retest or send them to the manufacturer for repair.
We also verify that the directional microphones are functioning properly, a vital step taken by fewer than 30% of clinics in the US.
How Much Does It Cost?
The 19-point evaluation, which includes a 30-minute visit with an audiologist, is $150.
At Pacific Hearing Service, we recognize the urgency of your concerns.
By being proactive about your hearing concerns, we can catch problems early on, sometimes before you may even be aware of them yourself!
If you or a loved one would like to schedule a professional hearing aid clean & check or simply want advice from one of our experts, then you can get in touch by clicking here.
To find a time that suits you, you can request a callback here.
(Inspection and Service)
Your 30-minute appointment includes:
- Individual session with a Doctor of Audiology
- Listening check of the hearing aid to assess the clarity of sound and proper amplification
- Visual inspection of the device for cracks, debris, or any indication of a problem
- Otoscopic inspection of ears
- Shell or earmold disinfection and ultrasonic cleaning of domes, earmolds, and tubing
- Battery contact cleaning (on non-rechargeable)
- Hearing aid dehumidification
- Microphone debris suction
- Replacement of microphone covers or filters
- Receiver debris suction and wax guard replacement
- Vent cleaning
- Dome replacement (RIC hearing aids only)
- Earmold tubing change (BTE and thin tube hearing aids only)
- Earhook replacement (BTE hearing aids only)
- ANSI (American National Standards Institute) electroacoustic analysis on a computer of hearing aid performance to ensure it meets manufacturer’s specifications
- Electroacoustic analysis of directional microphone performance
- Electroacoustic analysis of battery drain (when appropriate)
- Datalogging: to learn your personal preferences (e.g., turning the volume up or down or changing programs), allowing us to customize programs more precisely for you.
- Pairing hearing aids to iPhones, Androids, iPads: installing Apps that will work with your hearing devices
In addition, at this appointment, we will give you the batteries we estimate you will need until your next service appointment in 6 months (based on manufacturers’ estimates of battery use for your hearing aid and your use pattern).
Partnering with you to help you reach your hearing potential!