You will still visit your eye doctor yearly even if you already use eyeglasses. 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, just as it is with your eyes, it’s crucial to keep having your ears assessed even after you’ve purchased a quality pair of hearing aids.
Regrettably, many people miss those routine check-ups. 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 difficult lately. Or perhaps, you’ve just been so satisfied with your hearing aids that you haven’t felt the need to go back in. It seems like that would be good, right?
Getting your hearing tested
Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. Daphne has been observing some red flags with her hearing for a while now. Her TV volume is getting louder and louder. She has problems understanding discussions at after-work happy hours in noisy restaurants. And because she enjoys taking care of herself, and she’s intelligent, she schedules a hearing exam.
Daphne makes sure to follow all of the instructions to manage her hearing impairment: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them properly calibrated, and then goes back to her regular routine.
Issue solved? Well, maybe not entirely. It’s great that Daphne went in for a hearing exam and discovered her hearing problems early. But for most people with hearing loss, even a minor one, follow-up care becomes almost more vital in the long run. Keeping up on routine appointments would be a smart plan for Daphne. However, one study found that only around 33% of seniors with hearing aids get routine check-ups so Daphne isn’t alone.
If you already have hearing aids, why do you need regular hearing exams?
Alright, remember our glasses metaphor? 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 counter those changes. Any hearing changes can be discovered early with routine monitoring.
And that’s not even the only reason why it may be a good idea to keep regular appointments once you get your hearing aids. Some of the most prevailing reasons to ensure you make it to your next check-up include:
- Your fit may change: It’s likely that there will be a shift in the way your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Making certain your hearing aids continue to fit properly is a big part of your regular check-ups.
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing may continue to deteriorate even if you have hearing aids. If this degeneration is slow enough, you most likely won’t notice it’s happening without the aid of a hearing exam. Correct adjustments to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing declines.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your general hearing health might remain stable, small changes in your hearing might create the need for yearly calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids may slowly become less and less useful.
Dangers and roadblocks
The greatest challenge here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is using will quit working the way they’re meant to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop wearing them entirely. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by using hearing aids. Your hearing will deteriorate faster if you stop wearing your hearing aids and you most likely won’t even notice it.
In terms of achieving efficient 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 getting regular screenings.