You will still visit your eye doctor annually even if you already wear eyeglasses. Because your eyes change as time passes. Similar to the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t fixed and neither are your ears. That’s why, just as it is with your eyes, it’s crucial to keep having your ears tested even after you’ve purchased a nice pair of hearing aids.
Regrettably, many people miss those routine check-ups. Perhaps a trip to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or maybe, work has been particularly difficult this year. Or maybe you’ve simply decided not to go back in because you’re so happy with your hearing aids. It seems as if that would be good, right?
Scheduling a hearing exam
Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. Daphne has been observing some red flags related to her hearing for a while now. She keeps increasing the volume on her TV. When she goes out after work to a noisy restaurant, she has a hard time following discussions. And because she enjoys taking care of herself, and she’s smart, she schedules a hearing test.
After getting her hearing examined, Daphne does everything she’s supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them precisely calibrated, and then goes back to her regular routine.
Problem solved? Well, not quite. Going in for an exam allowed her to recognize her hearing loss early and that’s excellent. But, over time, follow-up care becomes even more important for individuals with even a small amount of hearing loss. Keeping up on regular appointments would be a smart plan for Daphne. But Daphne’s not alone in bypassing check-ups, according to one survey, just 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids also maintained routine hearing services.
If you already have hearing aids, why do you need regular hearing exams?
Remember when we used the glasses metaphor earlier? Daphne’s hearing won’t become static and stop changing just because she has hearing aids. It’s essential to fine-tune the hearing aids to counter those changes. Any hearing changes can be recognized early with routine monitoring.
And that’s not even the only reason why it might be a good idea to keep regular appointments after you have your hearing aids. Here are a few of the most significant reasons:
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing may continue to worsen even if you have hearing aids. If this deterioration is slow enough, you most likely won’t realize it’s happening without the help of a hearing test. Hearing decline can frequently be slowed by appropriately adjusting your hearing aids.
- Your fit may change: Because your ears are always changing, it’s quite possible that the way your hearing aids fit around and in your ears will change. Making sure your hearing aids continue to fit properly is a significant part of your regular check-ups.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in small ways, and while your overall hearing may remain consistent, these small changes may require you to get regular hearing assessments. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less useful.
Dangers and hurdles
The issue is, Daphne may, in her frustration, quit using her hearing aids entirely because they’re not working correctly. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by wearing hearing aids. If you stop using them, not only can your hearing diminish faster, you might not detect it right away.
When it comes to attaining efficient performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, regular hearing assessments are vital. Yearly hearing tests or screenings can help you ensure your hearing aids are working as they should and that your hearing remains protected.