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 annually, right? Because, over time, your eyes change. Nothing in your body is static, not your eyes and not, it turns out, your ears either. That’s why, just as it is with your eyes, it’s essential to keep getting your ears checked even after you’ve invested in a quality pair of hearing aids.
Regrettably, many people miss those regular check-ups. Perhaps a visit to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or perhaps, work has been particularly stressful this year. Or maybe you’ve just decided not to go back in because you’re so satisfied with your hearing aids. That should be a good thing, right?
Scheduling a hearing assessment
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. Daphne has been detecting some red flags related to her hearing for some time now. She keeps increasing the volume on her TV. She has difficulty following discussions at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And so, she goes to get her hearing checked (because she’s intelligent and she takes care of herself).
After having her hearing checked, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them precisely calibrated, and then goes back to her normal routine.
Issue solved? Well, not quite. Going in for an exam allowed her to recognize her hearing loss early and that’s excellent. But for most individuals with hearing loss, even a small one, follow-up care becomes almost more vital in the long run. Keeping up on regular appointments would be a smart idea for Daphne. But Daphne’s not alone in neglected check-ups, based on one survey, only 33% of senior citizens using hearing aids also scheduled regular hearing services.
Why do you need hearing exams once you get hearing aids?
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. Her hearing aids will have to be adjusted to counter those changes. Periodic testing helps keep track of any changes in hearing and catch problems early.
And there are other benefits to getting routine hearing exams once you get hearing aids. Here are some of the most important reasons:
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing may continue to worsen even if you use hearing aids. If this deterioration is slow enough, you probably won’t notice it’s happening without the help of a hearing exam. Correct alterations to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing declines.
- Your fit may change: Because your ears are always changing, it’s very possible that how your hearing aids fit inside of your ears will shift. Making sure your hearing aids continue to fit properly is a significant part of your regular check-ups.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your overall hearing health may remain stable, small changes in your hearing might create the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids may slowly become less and less effective.
Dangers and roadblocks
The greatest problem here is that eventually, the hearing aids Daphne is wearing will stop working the way they’re meant to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop wearing them entirely. Using hearing aids helps slow down hearing loss over time. Your hearing will decline faster if you quit wearing your hearing aids and you probably won’t even notice it.
As far as achieving efficient performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, regular hearing exams are vital. Safeguard your hearing and make sure your hearing aids are properly working by getting routine screenings.