Even if you use glasses (the type you put on your face, not the kind you fill with liquid), you still visit your eye doctor once a year, right? Because, as time goes by, your eyes change. 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 crucial to keep having your ears assessed even after you’ve invested in a quality pair of hearing aids.
Many individuals, unfortunately, neglect those annual appointments. Perhaps they’ve been too busy enjoying their lives to get back in to see your physician. Or perhaps, work has been particularly stressful 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. That should be a good thing, right?
Scheduling a hearing test
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. Daphne has been detecting some red flags associated with her hearing for some time now. She keeps increasing the volume on her TV. When she goes out after work to a noisy restaurant, she has difficulty following discussions. And because she enjoys taking care of herself, and she’s smart, she schedules a hearing test.
After having her hearing tested, 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.
Problem solved? Well, not quite. Going in for an exam allowed her to catch her hearing loss early and that’s excellent. But, over time, follow-up care becomes even more important for individuals with even a small amount of hearing loss. Keeping up on routine appointments would be a smart idea for Daphne. However, one study revealed that only around 33% of seniors with hearing aids get routine check-ups so Daphne isn’t by herself.
Why do you need hearing exams after you have hearing aids?
Okay, remember our glasses metaphor? Just because Daphne has hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become fixed and stop changing. Her hearing aids will have to be adjusted to counter those changes. Routine testing helps keep track of any changes in hearing and catch problems early.
And that isn’t even the only reason why it may be a good idea to keep routine appointments once you get your hearing aids. Some of the most common reasons to ensure you make it to your next appointment include:
- Hearing aid calibration: While your general hearing health might remain stable, slight changes in your hearing may produce the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less reliable.
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing may continue to deteriorate even if you use hearing aids. If this deterioration is slow enough, you most likely won’t recognize it’s happening without the aid of a hearing exam. 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 how your hearing aids fit inside of your ears will change. Making certain your hearing aids continue to fit properly is a big part of your regular check-ups.
Dangers and roadblocks
The main challenge here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is using will quit working the way they’re intended 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.
If you want your hearing aids to continue working efficiently, routine check-ups are going to be your best option in terms of achieving that. Annual hearing tests or screenings can help you ensure your hearing aids are functioning as they should and that your hearing remains protected.