Even if you have glasses (the type you put on your face, not the kind you fill with liquid), you still see your eye doctor annually, right? Because your eyes change as time passes. Nothing in your body is fixed, not your eyes and not, as it happens, your ears either. That’s why, just as it is with your eyes, it’s essential to keep getting your ears checked even after you’ve invested in a quality pair of hearing aids.
Regrettably, many people skip those routine check-ups. Perhaps they’ve been too occupied enjoying their lives to get back in to see the doctor. Or, it could be that your job has been difficult lately. Or perhaps, you’ve just been so pleased with your hearing aids that you haven’t had a reason to go back in. That’s a good thing, right?
Scheduling a hearing assessment
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. For quite a while, Daphne has detected some warning signs with her hearing. She keeps increasing the volume on her TV. When she goes out after work to a loud restaurant, she has trouble following discussions. And because she enjoys taking care of herself, and she’s intelligent, she schedules a hearing exam.
After having her hearing tested, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she purchases hearing aids, which are then precisely fitted and calibrated, and then she gets on with her life.
Issue solved? Well, maybe not completely. Going in for an exam allowed her to recognize her hearing loss early and that’s excellent. But, over time, follow-up care becomes almost more important for individuals with even minor hearing loss. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by maintaining routine appointments. But Daphne isn’t alone in bypassing check-ups, according to one study, just 33% of senior citizens using hearing aids also scheduled routine hearing services.
Why do you need hearing exams after you have hearing aids?
Remember when we used the glasses metaphor earlier? Just because Daphne has hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become fixed and stop changing. Her hearing aids will need to be adjusted to account for those changes. Routine testing helps track any changes in hearing and catch issues early.
And that isn’t even the only reason why it might be a good idea to keep regular appointments once you get your hearing aids. Some of the most common reasons to ensure you get to your next appointment include:
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing could continue to deteriorate 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 exam. Correct adjustments to your hearing aids can often slow hearing loss.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in small ways, and while your overall hearing may remain consistent, these slight changes could require you to get regular hearing examinations. Your hearing aid may become less and less effective if you avoid this calibration.
- Your fit may change: It’s likely that there will be a change in the way your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Regular check-ups can help guarantee that your hearing aids keep fitting the way they’re designed to.
Dangers and hurdles
The ultimate problem here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is wearing will quit working the way they’re meant to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop wearing them entirely. Wearing hearing aids helps slow down hearing loss over time. If you stop using them, not only can your hearing diminish faster, you might not notice it right away.
If you want your hearing aids to continue working at an optimal level, routine exams are going to be your best option in terms of achieving that. Protect your hearing and ensure your hearing aids are properly working by having regular screenings.