Even if you use glasses (the kind you put on your face, not the kind you fill with liquid), you still see your eye doctor annually, right? Because your eyes change over time. Similar to the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t static and neither are your ears. That’s why, even after you’ve purchased hearing aids, it’s essential to continue to have your ears tested much like you would with your eyes.
Many people, regrettably, skip those annual appointments. Perhaps they’ve been too occupied enjoying their lives to get back in to see the doctor. Or, it may be that your job has been hectic lately. 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 test
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. Daphne has been noticing some red flags associated with her hearing for some time now. Her TV volume is getting louder and louder. When she goes out after work to a noisy restaurant, she has difficulty following discussions. And so, she goes to have her hearing tested (because she’s smart and she takes care of herself).
Daphne makes sure to follow all of the instructions to manage her hearing impairment: she buys hearing aids, which are then precisely fitted and calibrated, and then she goes on with her life.
Problem solved? Well, yes and no. Going in for an exam allowed her to recognize her hearing loss early and that’s excellent. But for most individuals with hearing loss, even a small one, follow-up care becomes almost more important in the long run. Maintaining routine appointments would be a wise idea for Daphne. But Daphne isn’t alone in bypassing check-ups, based on one survey, just 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids also maintained routine hearing services.
Why do you need check-ups once 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. Her hearing aids will need to be fine-tuned to counter those changes. Regular testing helps keep track of any changes in hearing and detect issues early.
And that’s not even the only reason why it might be a smart idea to keep routine appointments after you have your hearing aids. Here are a few of the most significant reasons:
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in small ways, and while your general hearing may remain stable, these slight changes may require you to get regular hearing tests. Your hearing aid could become less and less effective if you skip this calibration.
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing may continue to worsen even if you have hearing aids. Often, this degeneration of your hearing is very slow and without regular examinations, you most likely won’t even notice it. Hearing decline can frequently be slowed by properly adjusting your hearing aids.
- Your fit may change: Because your hearing is always changing, it’s very possible that how your hearing aids fit inside of your ears will shift. Routine check-ups can help ensure that your hearing aids continue to fit the way they’re designed to.
Dangers and hurdles
The problem is, Daphne could, in her frustration, stop using her hearing aids altogether because they’re not working correctly. Wearing hearing aids helps slow hearing loss over time. Your hearing will deteriorate faster if you stop wearing your hearing aids and you probably won’t even notice it.
When it comes to achieving optimal performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, regular hearing assessments are vital. Yearly hearing assessments or screenings can help you ensure your hearing aids are functioning as they should and that your hearing stays protected.