You will still visit your eye doctor annually even if you already wear eyeglasses. 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 imperative to continue to get your ears tested just like you would with your eyes.
Many individuals, unfortunately, skip those yearly appointments. Perhaps they’ve been too busy enjoying their lives to get back in to see the doctor. Or, it might be that your job has been stressful lately. Or maybe, you’ve just been so satisfied with your hearing aids that you haven’t had a reason to go back in. It seems as if that would be good, right?
Scheduling a hearing exam
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. For some time now, Daphne has detected some warning signs associated with her hearing. She keeps increasing the volume on her TV. When she goes out after work to a loud restaurant, she has difficulty following conversations. And because she likes to take care of herself, and she’s intelligent, she schedules a hearing test.
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 gets back to her normal routine.
Problem solved? Well, not quite. It’s fantastic that Daphne went in for a hearing screening and discovered her hearing problems early. But, over time, follow-up care becomes almost more significant for people with even a small amount of hearing loss. Maintaining regular appointments would be a wise 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.
Why do you need hearing exams once you have hearing aids?
Okay, 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 fine-tuned to account for those changes. Any hearing changes can be detected early with routine monitoring.
And that’s not even the only reason why it may be a good idea to keep regular appointments after you have your hearing aids. Some of the most prevailing reasons to ensure you get to your next appointment include:
- Your fit may change: Because your ears are always changing, it’s entirely possible that how your hearing aids fit around and in your ears will change. Making sure your hearing aids continue to fit properly is a significant part of your regular check-ups.
- Hearing degeneration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing could keep deteriorating. If this deterioration is slow enough, you most likely won’t realize it’s happening without the help of a hearing test. Proper alterations to your hearing aids can often slow hearing loss.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your overall hearing health might continue to be stable, slight changes in your hearing might create the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less effective.
Hazards and hurdles
The issue is, Daphne could, in her frustration, stop using her hearing aids entirely because they’re not functioning properly. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by wearing hearing aids. If you quit using them, not only can your hearing diminish faster, you may not detect it right away.
If you want your hearing aids to keep working at an optimal level, regular check-ups are going to be your best option in terms of achieving that. Safeguard your hearing and make sure your hearing aids are effectively working by getting regular screenings.