You will still see your eye doctor every year even if you already wear eyeglasses. Because, over time, your eyes change. Nothing in your body is static, not your eyes and not, as it happens, your ears either. That’s why, just as it is with your eyes, it’s crucial to keep having your ears assessed even after you’ve invested in a quality pair of hearing aids.
Regrettably, many people skip those regular check-ups. Maybe they’ve been too occupied enjoying their lives to get back in to see the doctor. Or perhaps, work has been particularly hectic this year. Or maybe you’ve simply decided not to go back in because you’re so pleased with your hearing aids. That’s a good thing, right?
Scheduling a hearing test
Let’s use Daphne as our fictional stand-in. Daphne has been noticing some red flags with her hearing for some time now. Her TV volume continues to get louder. She has a hard time following conversations at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And so, she goes to have her hearing assessed (because she’s intelligent and she takes care of herself).
After having her hearing examined, Daphne does everything she’s supposed to: she buys hearing aids, which are then precisely fitted and calibrated, and then she gets on with her life.
Problem solved? Well, yes and no. Going in for a screening allowed her to recognize her hearing loss early and that’s great. But, in the long run, follow-up care becomes almost more significant for individuals with even minor hearing loss. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by going to regular appointments. But Daphne’s not alone in bypassing check-ups, according to one survey, just 33% of seniors with hearing aids also scheduled 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 fixed and stop changing just because she uses hearing aids. Her hearing aids will need to be adjusted to account for those changes. Routine testing helps track any changes in hearing and detect issues early.
And that isn’t even the only reason why it might be a good idea to keep routine appointments once you get your hearing aids. Here are some of the most important reasons:
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing could continue to deteriorate even if you have hearing aids. If this degeneration is slow enough, you probably won’t realize it’s happening without the assistance of a hearing screening. Hearing loss can often be slowed by appropriately adjusting your hearing aids.
- Your fit may change: It’s possible that there will be a change in how your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Making certain your hearing aids continue to fit well is a significant part of your regular check-ups.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in slight ways, and while your overall hearing may remain stable, these slight changes could require you to get regular hearing examinations. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less reliable.
Hazards and roadblocks
The issue is, Daphne may, in her frustration, quit using her hearing aids altogether because they’re not working correctly. Wearing hearing aids helps slow down hearing loss over time. Your hearing will deteriorate faster if you quit wearing your hearing aids and you probably won’t even notice it.
In terms of attaining optimal performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, routine hearing exams are vital. Protect your hearing and ensure your hearing aids are properly working by having regular screenings.