Even if you have glasses (the kind you put on your face, not the kind you fill with liquid), you still see your eye doctor yearly, right? Because your eyes change over time. Nothing in your body is fixed, not your eyes and not, it turns out, your ears either. That’s why, even after you’ve invested in hearing aids, it’s important to consistently get your ears assessed just like you would with your eyes.
Unfortunately, many individuals skip those routine check-ups. Maybe a trip to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or maybe, work has been especially difficult this year. Or maybe, you’ve just been so happy with your hearing aids that you haven’t felt the need to go back in. That should be a good thing, right?
Scheduling a hearing exam
Let’s use Daphne as our fictional stand-in. For some time now, Daphne has noted some symptoms with her hearing. She keeps turning the TV up. She has difficulty following conversations at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And because she enjoys taking care of herself, and she’s smart, she schedules a hearing exam.
After having her hearing checked, Daphne does everything she’s supposed to: she purchases hearing aids, which are then precisely fitted and calibrated, and then she goes on with her life.
Issue solved? Well, not quite. Going in for an exam allowed her to catch her hearing loss early and that’s excellent. But, over time, follow-up care becomes even more significant for people with even minor hearing loss. Maintaining routine appointments would be a wise plan for Daphne. However, one study revealed that only about 33% of seniors with hearing aids get regular check-ups so Daphne isn’t by herself.
Why do you need check-ups after you get hearing aids?
Okay, remember our glasses metaphor? Just because Daphne has hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become static and stop changing. It’s necessary to adjust the hearing aids to counter those changes. Routine testing helps keep track of any changes in hearing and detect problems early.
And there are other benefits to having routine hearing assessments once you get hearing aids. Some of the most common reasons to ensure you get to your next appointment include:
- Hearing deterioration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing may keep deteriorating. Frequently, this degeneration of your hearing is quite gradual and without routine examinations, you most likely won’t even detect it. Hearing decline can frequently be slowed by appropriately fine-tuning your hearing aids.
- Your fit may change: It’s possible that there will be a shift in how your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Regular check-ups can help guarantee that your hearing aids continue to fit the way they’re supposed to.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in slight ways, and while your general hearing may remain stable, these small changes could require you to get regular hearing assessments. Your hearing aid could become less and less effective if you skip this calibration.
Hazards and hurdles
The main problem here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is wearing will stop working the way they’re meant to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop wearing them altogether. Using hearing aids helps slow hearing loss over time. If you stop wearing them, not only can your hearing diminish faster, you may not notice it right away.
If you want your hearing aids to keep working at an optimal level, routine check-ups are going to be your best bet in terms of attaining that. Annual hearing tests or screenings can help you ensure your hearing aids are working as they should and that your hearing remains protected.