You will still visit your eye doctor every year even if you already wear eyeglasses. Because your eyes change over time. 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 examined even after you’ve purchased a quality pair of hearing aids.
Many people, unfortunately, skip those annual appointments. Maybe a trip to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or perhaps, work has been particularly hectic this year. Or maybe, you’ve just been so happy with your hearing aids that you haven’t had a reason to go back in. It seems like that would be good, right?
Getting your hearing assessed
Let’s take Daphne as an imaginary example. Daphne has been observing some red flags associated with her hearing for some time now. She keeps increasing the volume on her TV. When she goes out after work to a loud restaurant, she has difficulty following discussions. And because she likes to take care of herself, and she’s smart, she schedules a hearing test.
Daphne makes certain to follow all of the steps to manage her hearing impairment: she purchases hearing aids, which are then precisely fitted and calibrated, and then she goes on with her life.
Issue solved? Well, maybe not completely. It’s great that Daphne went in for a hearing exam and caught her hearing issues early. But for most individuals with hearing impairment, even a minor one, follow-up care becomes even more significant in the long run. Maintaining routine appointments would be a wise idea for Daphne. But Daphne’s not alone in bypassing check-ups, according to one survey, only 33% of seniors using hearing aids also scheduled regular hearing services.
If you already use hearing aids, why do you need check-ups?
Remember when we used the glasses metaphor earlier? Just because Daphne has hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become static and stop changing. It’s necessary to fine-tune the hearing aids to deal with those changes. Periodic testing helps monitor any changes in hearing and detect issues early.
And there are other reasons for getting regular hearing exams once you get hearing aids. Some of the most prevailing reasons to ensure you get to your next check-up include:
- Your fit may change: Because your ears are always changing, it’s quite possible that the way 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 exam.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your general hearing health may remain stable, slight changes in your hearing might create the need for yearly calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less effective.
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing could continue to deteriorate even if you have hearing aids. If this deterioration is slow enough, you most likely won’t realize it’s happening without the assistance of a hearing test. Correct alterations to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing declines.
Dangers and hurdles
The ultimate challenge here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is wearing will quit working the way they’re intended to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop using them entirely. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by using hearing aids. If you quit wearing them, not only can your hearing diminish faster, you might not notice it right away.
If you want your hearing aids to keep working efficiently, regular check-ups are going to be your best option in terms of achieving that. Protect your hearing and make sure your hearing aids are properly working by getting routine screenings.