Even if you use glasses (the kind you put on your face, not the kind you fill with liquid), you still see your eye doctor once a year, right? Because, over time, 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 checked even after you’ve invested in a quality pair of hearing aids.
Many people, unfortunately, neglect those yearly appointments. Perhaps a visit to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or perhaps, work has been particularly hectic this year. Or perhaps, you’ve just been so pleased 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 test
Let’s use Daphne as our fictional stand-in. Daphne has been noticing some red flags associated with her hearing for some time now. Her TV volume is getting louder and louder. She has difficulty following conversations at after-work happy hours in noisy restaurants. And so, she goes to get her hearing assessed (because she’s intelligent and she takes care of herself).
After getting her hearing examined, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she buys 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 catch her hearing loss early and that’s excellent. But, over time, follow-up care becomes even more important for people with even minor hearing loss. Keeping up on routine appointments would be a smart idea for Daphne. However, one study found that only around 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids get regular check-ups so Daphne isn’t alone.
If you already use hearing aids, why do you need regular hearing exams?
Alright, remember our glasses metaphor? Daphne’s hearing won’t become static 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 detected early with regular monitoring.
And there are other benefits to having routine hearing exams after you get hearing aids. Here are some of the most important reasons:
- Hearing degeneration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing may continue to deteriorate. Frequently, this deterioration of your hearing is very gradual and without routine examinations, you most likely won’t even notice it. Hearing loss can often be slowed by properly adjusting your hearing aids.
- 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 shift. Regular check-ups can help guarantee that your hearing aids keep fitting the way they’re designed to.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your overall 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 could slowly become less and less effective.
Hazards and hurdles
The ultimate challenge here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is wearing will quit working the way they’re supposed to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop using them entirely. Using hearing aids helps slow hearing loss over time. If you quit wearing them, not only can your hearing diminish faster, you might not detect it right away.
If you want your hearing aids to keep working efficiently, routine check-ups are going to be your best bet in terms of achieving that. Protect your hearing and ensure your hearing aids are effectively working by getting routine screenings.