Even if you have glasses (the type you put on your face, not the kind you fill with liquid), you still see your eye doctor once a year, right? Because your eyes change over time. Nothing in your body is static, 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 have your ears assessed just like you would with your eyes.
Many individuals, unfortunately, skip those yearly appointments. Maybe a visit to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or maybe, work has been particularly hectic this year. Or perhaps, 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 test
Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. Daphne has been noticing some red flags associated with her hearing for a while now. Her TV volume continues to get louder. She has a hard time following discussions at after-work happy hours in noisy restaurants. And so, she goes in to get her hearing assessed (because she’s smart and she takes care of herself).
After having her hearing assessed, Daphne does everything she’s supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them properly calibrated, and then gets back to her regular routine.
Issue solved? Well, not quite. It’s fantastic that Daphne went in for a hearing test and discovered her hearing issues early. But for most individuals with hearing loss, even a small one, follow-up care becomes even more important in the long run. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by keeping regular appointments. However, one study found that only around 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids get regular check-ups so Daphne isn’t by herself.
Why do you need hearing exams once you have hearing aids?
Remember when we used the glasses metaphor earlier? Just because Daphne uses hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become fixed and stop changing. It’s necessary to fine-tune the hearing aids to deal with those changes. Routine testing helps track any changes in hearing and catch issues early.
And that’s not even the only reason why it may be a good idea to keep routine appointments once you have your hearing aids. Some of the most prevailing reasons to ensure you get to your next check-up include:
- Your fit may change: It’s likely that there will be a change in the way your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Regular hearing tests can help ensure 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 may require you to get regular hearing tests. Your hearing aid could become less and less effective if you avoid this calibration.
- Hearing degeneration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing could continue to deteriorate. Frequently, this degeneration of your hearing is quite slow and without routine examinations, you most likely won’t even recognize it. Hearing decline can frequently be slowed by correctly adjusting your hearing aids.
Dangers and roadblocks
The main problem here is that eventually, the hearing aids Daphne is using will quit working the way they’re meant to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop using them altogether. Using hearing aids helps slow down hearing loss over time. Your hearing will decline faster if you stop wearing your hearing aids and you most likely won’t even notice it.
In terms of attaining efficient performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, regular hearing assessments are essential. Protect your hearing and make sure your hearing aids are effectively working by having routine screenings.