Even if you use glasses (the kind you put on your face, not the kind you drink out of), you still visit your eye doctor yearly, right? Because, over time, your eyes change. Like the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t static and neither are your ears. That’s why, even after you’ve invested in hearing aids, it’s imperative to continue to have your ears checked just like you would with your eyes.
Regrettably, many individuals miss those regular check-ups. Perhaps they’ve been too busy enjoying their lives to get back in to see the doctor. Or maybe, work has been especially hectic this year. Or perhaps you’ve simply decided not to go back in because you’re so pleased with your hearing aids. It seems as if that would be good, right?
Scheduling a hearing assessment
Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. Daphne has been observing some red flags associated with her hearing for some time now. Her TV volume is getting louder and louder. She has a hard time following discussions at after-work happy hours in noisy restaurants. And so, she goes to have her hearing checked (because she’s intelligent and she takes care of herself).
Daphne makes sure to follow all of the instructions to manage her hearing impairment: she buys hearing aids, which are then correctly fitted and calibrated, and then she goes on with her life.
Issue solved? Well, maybe not completely. It’s great that Daphne went in for a hearing exam and discovered her hearing issues early. But, over time, follow-up care becomes almost more significant for individuals with even minor hearing loss. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by going to routine appointments. However, one study found that only about 33% of seniors with hearing aids get regular check-ups so Daphne isn’t alone.
Why do you need check-ups once you have hearing aids?
Okay, remember our glasses metaphor? Just because Daphne has hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become static and stop changing. It’s necessary to adjust the hearing aids to deal with those changes. Regular testing helps track any changes in hearing and detect problems early.
And that isn’t even the only reason why it may be a smart idea to keep routine appointments once you have your hearing aids. Some of the most prevailing reasons to make sure you make it to your next appointment include:
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing may continue to deteriorate even if you have hearing aids. If this deterioration is slow enough, you probably won’t realize it’s happening without the assistance of a hearing screening. Hearing loss can frequently be slowed by correctly adjusting your hearing aids.
- Your fit may change: Because your hearing is always changing, it’s entirely possible that the way your hearing aids fit around and in your ears will change. Making certain your hearing aids continue to fit properly is a big part of your regular exam.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in small ways, and while your overall hearing may remain consistent, these small changes could require you to get regular hearing tests. Your hearing aid could become less and less effective if you avoid this calibration.
Dangers and roadblocks
The issue is, Daphne may, in her frustration, quit using her hearing aids entirely because they’re not working correctly. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by using hearing aids. If you stop using them, not only can your hearing deteriorate faster, you might not detect it right away.
If you want your hearing aids to continue working at an optimal level, regular exams are going to be your best option in terms of attaining that. Safeguard your hearing and ensure your hearing aids are properly working by having routine screenings.