You will still see your eye doctor every year even if you already use eyeglasses. Because your eyes change over time. Nothing in your body is static, not your eyes and not, it turns out, your ears either. That’s why, much like your eyes, it’s essential to keep getting your ears examined even after you’ve purchased a quality pair of hearing aids.
Many individuals, unfortunately, neglect those yearly appointments. Maybe a trip to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or, it might be that your job has been difficult lately. Or perhaps, you’ve just been so satisfied with your hearing aids that you haven’t felt the need to go back in. That’s a good thing, right?
Getting your hearing tested
Let’s take Daphne as an imaginary example. For some time now, Daphne has noted some symptoms with her hearing. Her TV volume is getting louder and louder. She has problems following discussions at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And because she enjoys taking care of herself, and she’s intelligent, she schedules a hearing assessment.
After getting her hearing assessed, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them correctly calibrated, and then gets back to her normal routine.
Problem solved? Well, maybe not entirely. It’s fantastic that Daphne went in for a hearing test and discovered her hearing problems early. But for most people with hearing impairment, even a minor one, follow-up care becomes almost more important in the long run. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by maintaining routine appointments. However, one study revealed that only about 33% of seniors with hearing aids get regular check-ups so Daphne isn’t alone.
If you already have hearing aids, why do you need check-ups?
Okay, remember our glasses metaphor? Daphne’s hearing won’t become static and stop changing just because she has hearing aids. It’s necessary to adjust the hearing aids to counter those changes. Any hearing changes can be recognized early with routine monitoring.
And there are other reasons for having routine hearing exams once you get hearing aids. Here are a few of the most important reasons:
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing could continue to worsen even if you use hearing aids. Often, this deterioration of your hearing is quite slow and without regular screenings, you most likely won’t even detect it. Proper adjustments to your hearing aids can often slow hearing declines.
- Your fit may change: Because your hearing is always changing, it’s quite possible that how your hearing aids fit inside of your ears will shift. Making sure your hearing aids continue to fit well is a significant part of your regular exam.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in slight ways, and while your general 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 skip this calibration.
Hazards and hurdles
The issue is, Daphne may, in her frustration, stop using her hearing aids entirely because they’re not functioning correctly. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by using hearing aids. Your hearing will deteriorate faster if you stop wearing your hearing aids and you probably won’t even notice it.
When it comes to achieving optimal performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, regular hearing assessments are essential. Yearly hearing exams or screenings can help you be sure your hearing aids are functioning as they should and that your hearing stays protected.