Even if you have glasses (the kind you put on your face, not the kind you fill with liquid), you still visit your eye doctor annually, right? Because your eyes change as time passes. 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 get your ears assessed much like you would with your eyes.
Many individuals, regrettably, miss those annual appointments. Perhaps they’ve been too busy enjoying their lives to get back in to see the doctor. Or, it could be that your job has been difficult lately. Or maybe, you’ve just been so satisfied with your hearing aids that you haven’t felt the need to go back in. It seems as if that would be good, right?
Scheduling a hearing exam
Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. Daphne has been detecting some red flags associated with her hearing for a while now. She keeps increasing the volume on her TV. She has problems understanding conversations at after-work happy hours in noisy restaurants. And so, she goes to get her hearing assessed (because she’s smart and she takes care of herself).
After getting her hearing examined, Daphne does everything she’s supposed to: she purchases hearing aids, which are then correctly fitted and calibrated, and then she goes on with her life.
Issue solved? Well, yes and no. Going in for an exam allowed her to recognize her hearing loss early and that’s great. But, over time, follow-up care becomes almost more significant for individuals with even minor hearing loss. Maintaining regular appointments would be a wise idea for Daphne. However, one study revealed that only about 33% of seniors with hearing aids get routine check-ups so Daphne isn’t by herself.
Why do you need hearing exams after you have 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 deal with those changes. Periodic testing helps monitor any changes in hearing and detect problems early.
And that’s not even the only reason why it might be a smart idea to keep regular appointments once you get your hearing aids. Some of the most common reasons to make sure you get to your next appointment include:
- Hearing degeneration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing could keep deteriorating. Frequently, this deterioration of your hearing is quite slow and without regular examinations, you probably won’t even notice it. Appropriate alterations to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing declines.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your overall hearing health might continue to be stable, small changes in your hearing may create the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Your hearing aid may become less and less effective if you skip this calibration.
- 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. Routine check-ups can help guarantee that your hearing aids continue to fit the way they’re supposed to.
Dangers and roadblocks
The greatest 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 entirely. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by using hearing aids. Your hearing will decline faster if you stop using your hearing aids and you most likely won’t even notice it.
If you want your hearing aids to keep working at an optimal level, regular check-ups are going to be your best bet in terms of achieving that. Annual hearing tests or screenings can help you make sure your hearing aids are functioning as they should and that your hearing stays protected.