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 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, even after you’ve invested in hearing aids, it’s important to continue to have your ears checked just like you would with your eyes.
Many people, regrettably, miss those annual appointments. Perhaps a trip to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or, it could be that your job has been stressful lately. Or perhaps, you’ve just been so satisfied with your hearing aids that you haven’t had a reason to go back in. That’s a good thing, right?
Getting your hearing tested
Let’s take Daphne as an imaginary example. For some time now, Daphne has detected some symptoms with her hearing. Her TV volume continues to get louder. She has difficulty understanding conversations at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And because she enjoys taking care of herself, and she’s intelligent, she schedules a hearing exam.
Daphne makes sure to follow all of the steps to manage her hearing impairment: she buys hearing aids, which are then precisely fitted and calibrated, and then she gets on with her life.
Issue solved? Well, not quite. It’s fantastic that Daphne went in for a hearing screening and discovered her hearing problems early. But for most individuals with hearing loss, even a minor one, follow-up care becomes almost more significant in the long run. Keeping up on regular appointments would be a smart plan for Daphne. However, one study found that only about 33% of seniors with hearing aids get regular check-ups so Daphne isn’t by herself.
Why do you need check-ups after you get hearing aids?
Okay, remember our glasses metaphor? Daphne’s hearing won’t become static and stop changing just because she uses hearing aids. Her hearing aids will have to be adjusted to counter those changes. Any hearing changes can be recognized early with periodic monitoring.
And there are other reasons for getting routine hearing exams once you get hearing aids. Some of the most common reasons to make sure you make it to your next appointment include:
- Hearing aid calibration: While your overall hearing health may continue to be 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.
- Your fit may change: Because your hearing is always changing, it’s entirely possible that how your hearing aids fit inside of your ears will change. Regular check-ups can help ensure that your hearing aids keep fitting the way they’re supposed to.
- Hearing deterioration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing may continue to deteriorate. If this deterioration is slow enough, you most likely won’t recognize it’s happening without the assistance of a hearing exam. Hearing loss can often be slowed by correctly adjusting your hearing aids.
Hazards and hurdles
The ultimate problem here is that eventually, the hearing aids Daphne is using will quit working the way they’re intended to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop wearing them altogether. Using hearing aids helps slow down 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 continue working efficiently, regular exams are going to be your best option in terms of attaining that. Yearly hearing exams or screenings can help you ensure your hearing aids are functioning as they should and that your hearing remains protected.