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, it turns out, your ears either. That’s why, much like your eyes, it’s crucial to keep getting your ears tested even after you’ve purchased a quality pair of hearing aids.
Unfortunately, many individuals miss 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 satisfied with your hearing aids that you haven’t had a reason to go back in. That’s a good thing, right?
Getting your hearing tested
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 is getting louder and louder. She has problems understanding discussions at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And so, she goes in to get her hearing assessed (because she’s intelligent and she takes care of herself).
Daphne makes sure to follow all of the instructions to manage her hearing impairment: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them precisely calibrated, and then goes back to her normal routine.
Issue solved? Well, maybe not completely. Going in for an exam allowed her to catch her hearing loss early and that’s great. But, in the long run, follow-up care becomes even more significant for individuals with even minor hearing loss. Keeping up on regular 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.
If you already use hearing aids, why do you need check-ups?
Remember when we used the glasses metaphor earlier? Daphne’s hearing won’t become static and stop changing just because she uses hearing aids. It’s essential to adjust the hearing aids to deal with those changes. Routine testing helps monitor any changes in hearing and detect issues early.
And that isn’t even the only reason why it might be a smart idea to keep regular appointments after you get your hearing aids. Here are some of the most significant reasons:
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in small ways, and while your overall hearing may remain stable, these slight changes could require you to get regular hearing examinations. Your hearing aid may become less and less reliable if you avoid this calibration.
- Hearing deterioration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing may continue to deteriorate. If this deterioration is slow enough, you most likely won’t realize it’s happening without the assistance of a hearing test. Hearing decline can often be slowed by correctly fine-tuning your hearing aids.
- Your fit may change: Because your hearing is always changing, it’s quite possible that how your hearing aids fit around and in your ears will change. Making certain your hearing aids continue to fit well is a significant part of your regular check-ups.
Dangers and roadblocks
The greatest concern here is that eventually, the hearing aids Daphne is wearing will stop working the way they’re supposed to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop wearing them altogether. Using hearing aids helps slow down hearing loss over time. Your hearing will deteriorate faster if you stop using your hearing aids and you probably won’t even notice it.
When it comes to attaining efficient performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, routine hearing exams are essential. Yearly hearing assessments or screenings can help you be sure your hearing aids are functioning as they should and that your hearing stays protected.