You will still see your eye doctor yearly even if you already wear eyeglasses. Because your eyes change as time passes. Similar to the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t static and neither are your ears. That’s why, even after you’ve invested in hearing aids, it’s essential to continue to get your ears tested much like you would with your eyes.
Many individuals, regrettably, neglect those annual appointments. 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 difficult lately. Or perhaps, you’ve just been so happy with your hearing aids that you haven’t had a reason to go back in. It seems like that would be good, right?
Getting your hearing tested
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. For quite a while, Daphne has noted some warning signs associated with her hearing. She keeps increasing the volume on her TV. She has a hard time understanding discussions at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And because she likes to take care of herself, and she’s smart, she schedules a hearing assessment.
Daphne makes certain to follow all of the instructions to manage her hearing impairment: she buys 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 great that Daphne went in for a hearing test and caught her hearing problems early. But for most individuals with hearing loss, even a small one, follow-up care becomes almost more significant in the long run. Keeping up on regular appointments would be a wise plan for Daphne. However, one study found that only around 33% of seniors with hearing aids get routine check-ups so Daphne isn’t alone.
If you already use hearing aids, why do you need regular hearing exams?
Alright, remember our glasses metaphor? Daphne’s hearing won’t become fixed and stop changing just because she has hearing aids. Her hearing aids will need to be fine-tuned to counter those changes. Any hearing changes can be detected early with periodic monitoring.
And that isn’t even the only reason why it may be a good idea to keep routine appointments after you have your hearing aids. Here are some of the most important reasons:
- Your fit may change: Because your ears are always changing, it’s entirely possible that the way your hearing aids fit around and in your ears will shift. Making sure your hearing aids continue to fit properly is a big part of your regular check-ups.
- Hearing degeneration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing could keep deteriorating. Frequently, this deterioration of your hearing is quite slow and without regular screenings, you probably won’t even notice it. Hearing decline can frequently be slowed by correctly adjusting your hearing aids.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in small ways, and while your overall hearing may remain consistent, these small changes could require you to get regular hearing examinations. Your hearing aid may become less and less efficient if you skip this calibration.
Hazards and roadblocks
The main problem here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is using will quit working the way they’re supposed to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop using them altogether. Using hearing aids helps slow down hearing loss over time. Your hearing will deteriorate faster if you quit using your hearing aids and you most likely won’t even detect it.
If you want your hearing aids to keep working efficiently, routine check-ups are going to be your best bet in terms of achieving that. Protect your hearing and make sure your hearing aids are effectively working by having regular screenings.