You will still see your eye doctor annually even if you already use eyeglasses. Because, as time passes, your eyes change. Similar to the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t static and neither are your ears. That’s why, even after you’ve purchased hearing aids, it’s essential to continue to have your ears assessed much like you would with your eyes.
Unfortunately, many individuals skip those regular check-ups. Maybe a trip to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or, it could be that your job has been difficult lately. Or maybe you’ve just decided not to go back in because you’re so happy with your hearing aids. It seems as if that would be good, right?
Getting your hearing checked
Let’s take Daphne as an imaginary example. Daphne has been noticing some red flags related to her hearing for a while now. She keeps increasing the volume on her TV. When she goes out after work to a loud restaurant, she has a hard time following discussions. And so, she goes in to get her hearing checked (because she’s intelligent and she takes care of herself).
Daphne makes certain to follow all of the instructions to manage her hearing impairment: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them properly calibrated, and then gets back to her regular routine.
Issue solved? Well, maybe not completely. It’s fantastic that Daphne went in for a hearing test and discovered her hearing problems early. But for most individuals with hearing impairment, even a minor one, follow-up care becomes even more vital in the long run. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by going to regular appointments. However, one study revealed that only about 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids get routine check-ups so Daphne isn’t alone.
Why do you need check-ups after you get 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 essential to adjust the hearing aids to counter those changes. Any hearing changes can be discovered early with routine monitoring.
And there are other benefits to getting routine hearing assessments once you get hearing aids. Here are a few of the most important reasons:
- Hearing deterioration: Your hearing could continue to deteriorate even if you have hearing aids. If this degeneration is slow enough, you most likely won’t notice it’s happening without the aid of a hearing exam. Proper adjustments to your hearing aids can often slow hearing declines.
- Your fit may change: Because your hearing is always changing, it’s very possible that the way your hearing aids fit around and in your ears will shift. Regular hearing tests can help guarantee that your hearing aids keep fitting the way they’re supposed to.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in small ways, and while your overall 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.
Dangers and roadblocks
The greatest concern here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is wearing will quit working the way they’re meant to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop using them altogether. 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 probably won’t even notice it.
As far as achieving efficient performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, routine hearing exams are essential. Yearly hearing tests or screenings can help you ensure your hearing aids are working as they should and that your hearing remains protected.