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UC Health audiologists can clean and perform routine maintenance on hearing aids.
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UC Health audiologists can clean and perform routine maintenance on hearing aids.
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Stephanie Lockhart is director of audiology in the University of Cincinnati Department of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery.
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Publish Date: 10/22/09
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
Patient Info: For more information or to schedule an appointment with a UC Health audiologist or hearing aid specialist, call (513) 475-8453.
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UC HEALTH LINE: Free Hearing Aid Cleanings and Checkups in November

CINCINNATI You get regular maintenance on your car, your homeso why not your hearing aid?

For the first week of November, UC Health ear, nose and throat specialists will recognize Hearing Aid Awareness Week by offering free hearing aid cleaning and tuneups every day from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Division of audiology and hearing aids director Stephanie Lockhart recommends patients get their hearing aids checked every six months.

"It’s kind of like changing the oil in your car," says Lockhart. "You shouldn’t get a hearing aid and then never maintain it. A hearing aid can be functioning, but it might not be functioning optimally, and you might not notice that."

During a hearing aid check, audiologists clean the battery contacts, vacuum out the microphone and speaker and listen to the quality of sound.

The entire process takes about 10 minutes, says Lockhart. If audiologists find the aid needs repairs, they can handle that and help the patient through the process.

She says patients should definitely come in for a tuneup if they are hearing less than they used to, or if their aid starts whistling or giving feedback when it did not before.

"Any time someone notices a sudden change in their hearing or hearing aid they need to come in," she says. "If it’s not the hearing aid and their hearing has changed, then we need to address that as well."

Patients interested in getting new aids also can schedule a complimentary one-hour hearing aid evaluation, in which they can discuss their options with an audiologist.

"On average, people replace their hearing aid every five years," says Lockhart, "and there’s always new technology that’s developed during that time."

New aids are smaller, give less feedback and perform better in noisy environments. They’re also more hands-off than previous aids.

"People used to have to do a lot of fiddling with their hearing aids, turning them up, turning them down, pushing buttons to change things," says Lockhart. "You can certainly get a hearing aid that has those controls if you want, but they function a lot more automatically now, so you can just put it in and forget about it."

For more information or to schedule an appointment with a UC Health audiologist or hearing aid specialist, call (513) 475-8453.


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