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 passes, your eyes change. Nothing in your body is fixed, not your eyes and not, as it happens, your ears either. That’s why, even after you’ve invested in hearing aids, it’s imperative to consistently get your ears checked much like you would with your eyes.
Many individuals, unfortunately, neglect those yearly appointments. Maybe they’ve been too occupied enjoying their lives to get back in to see your physician. Or maybe, work has been especially stressful this year. 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 like that would be good, right?
Scheduling a hearing exam
Let’s use Daphne as our fictional stand-in. For quite a while, Daphne has noted some symptoms 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 discussions. And so, she goes to have her hearing checked (because she’s smart and she takes care of herself).
After having her hearing checked, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she purchases hearing aids, which are then correctly fitted and calibrated, and then she gets on with her life.
Issue solved? Well, yes and no. It’s great that Daphne went in for a hearing test and caught her hearing issues early. But, in the long run, follow-up care becomes even more significant for individuals with even a small amount of hearing loss. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by maintaining routine appointments. However, one study found that only around 33% of seniors 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 has hearing aids. It’s essential to adjust the hearing aids to deal with those changes. Periodic testing helps monitor any changes in hearing and catch problems early.
And there are other reasons for having regular hearing assessments once you get hearing aids. Some of the most prevailing reasons to make sure you get to your next appointment include:
- Your fit may change: It’s possible that there will be a shift in the way your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Regular hearing tests can help guarantee that your hearing aids keep fitting the way they’re designed to.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in slight ways, and while your general hearing may remain stable, these small changes could require you to get regular hearing assessments. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less effective.
- 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 help of a hearing exam. Correct adjustments to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing declines.
Hazards and roadblocks
The main concern here is that eventually, the hearing aids Daphne is using will quit working the way they’re supposed to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop wearing them entirely. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by using hearing aids. Your hearing will deteriorate faster if you quit using your hearing aids and you most likely won’t even detect it.
If you want your hearing aids to continue working at an optimal level, regular check-ups are going to be your best bet in terms of achieving that. Safeguard your hearing and ensure your hearing aids are properly working by getting routine screenings.