Even if you use glasses (the type you put on your face, not the kind you drink out of), you still visit your eye doctor yearly, right? Because, as time goes by, your eyes change. Similar to the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t fixed and neither are your ears. 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.
Unfortunately, many individuals skip those routine check-ups. Perhaps they’ve been too occupied enjoying their lives to get back in to see the doctor. Or perhaps, work has been particularly hectic this year. Or perhaps you’ve just decided to not go back in because you’re so pleased with your hearing aids. That’s a good thing, right?
Getting your hearing tested
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. Daphne has been detecting 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 get her hearing checked (because she’s smart and she takes care of herself).
Daphne makes certain to follow all of the instructions to manage her hearing impairment: she buys hearing aids, which are then properly fitted and calibrated, and then she gets on with her life.
Issue solved? Well, maybe not entirely. Going in for a screening allowed her to catch her hearing loss early and that’s great. But, over time, follow-up care becomes almost more important for people with even minor hearing loss. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by going to routine appointments. But Daphne’s not alone in neglected check-ups, according to one study, just 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids also maintained routine hearing services.
If you already have hearing aids, why do you need check-ups?
Okay, remember our glasses metaphor? Daphne’s hearing won’t become fixed and stop changing just because she uses hearing aids. It’s important to adjust the hearing aids to deal with those changes. Regular testing helps track any changes in hearing and detect problems early.
And there are other reasons for getting regular hearing exams after you get hearing aids. Here are a few of the most significant reasons:
- Hearing deterioration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing may continue to deteriorate. Frequently, this deterioration of your hearing is very slow and without routine examinations, you probably won’t even detect it. Appropriate adjustments to your hearing aids can often slow hearing loss.
- Your fit may change: It’s likely that there will be a shift in how your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Routine hearing tests can help guarantee that your hearing aids keep fitting the way they’re designed to.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your general hearing health may continue to be stable, small changes in your hearing might produce the need for yearly calibration of your hearing aid. Your hearing aid could become less and less reliable if you skip this calibration.
Dangers and roadblocks
The issue is, Daphne may, in her frustration, stop using her hearing aids altogether because they’re not functioning properly. Using hearing aids helps slow hearing loss over time. Your hearing will decline faster if you quit using your hearing aids and you probably won’t even notice it.
If you want your hearing aids to keep working efficiently, regular exams are going to be your best bet in terms of achieving that. Yearly hearing assessments or screenings can help you ensure your hearing aids are functioning as they should and that your hearing remains protected.