Even if you have glasses (the type you put on your face, not the kind you drink out of), you still visit your eye doctor annually, right? Because, as time goes by, your eyes change. Similar to the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t static and neither are your ears. That’s why, even after you’ve purchased hearing aids, it’s important to continue to have your ears examined just like you would with your eyes.
Unfortunately, many individuals miss those routine check-ups. Perhaps they’ve been too busy enjoying their lives to get back in to see the doctor. Or, it may be that your job has been stressful lately. Or maybe, you’ve just been so happy with your hearing aids that you haven’t had a reason to go back in. That should be a good thing, right?
Scheduling a hearing assessment
Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. For some time now, Daphne has detected some warning signs associated with her hearing. Her TV volume continues to get louder. When she goes out after work to a noisy restaurant, she has difficulty following conversations. And because she likes to take care of herself, and she’s smart, she schedules a hearing exam.
Daphne makes sure to follow all of the steps to manage her hearing impairment: she purchases hearing aids, which are then properly fitted and calibrated, and then she gets on with her life.
Problem solved? Well, maybe not completely. It’s fantastic that Daphne went in for a hearing test and caught her hearing issues early. But, over time, follow-up care becomes even more important for individuals with even minor hearing loss. Keeping up on regular appointments would be a smart idea for Daphne. But Daphne’s not alone in avoiding check-ups, according to one study, just 33% of seniors with hearing aids also maintained routine hearing services.
Why do you need hearing exams once you get hearing aids?
Remember when we used the glasses metaphor earlier? Daphne’s hearing won’t become static and stop changing just because she uses hearing aids. Her hearing aids will have to be adjusted to account for those changes. Any hearing changes can be identified early with routine monitoring.
And there are other reasons for having regular hearing assessments once you get hearing aids. Some of the most common reasons to make sure you make it to your next appointment include:
- Your fit may change: Because your hearing is always changing, it’s quite possible that how your hearing aids fit around and in your ears will change. Making sure your hearing aids continue to fit well is a big part of your regular check-ups.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your overall hearing health might continue to be stable, slight changes in your hearing might produce the need for yearly calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids may slowly become less and less reliable.
- Hearing deterioration: Your hearing could continue to worsen even if you have hearing aids. If this degeneration is slow enough, you probably won’t notice it’s happening without the aid of a hearing exam. Appropriate alterations to your hearing aids can often slow hearing loss.
Dangers and roadblocks
The ultimate problem here is that eventually, the hearing aids Daphne is using will quit working the way they’re meant to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop wearing them altogether. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by wearing hearing aids. If you quit using them, not only can your hearing deteriorate faster, you may not notice it right away.
If you want your hearing aids to keep working at an optimal level, regular check-ups are going to be your best option in terms of attaining that. Safeguard your hearing and make sure your hearing aids are effectively working by getting routine screenings.