Even if you have glasses (the type you put on your face, not the kind you fill with liquid), you still visit your eye doctor yearly, right? Because your eyes change over time. Similar to the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t static and neither are your ears. 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 nice pair of hearing aids.
Unfortunately, many individuals skip those regular check-ups. Maybe they’ve been too occupied enjoying their lives to get back in to see your physician. Or maybe, work has been especially difficult 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 assessment
Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. Daphne has been detecting some red flags related to her hearing for some time now. Her TV volume continues to get louder. When she goes out after work to a noisy restaurant, she has trouble following conversations. And so, she goes in to have her hearing assessed (because she’s smart and she takes care of herself).
After having her hearing tested, Daphne does everything she’s supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them properly calibrated, and then gets back to her normal routine.
Issue solved? Well, maybe not entirely. It’s fantastic that Daphne went in for a hearing exam and discovered her hearing problems early. But for most individuals with hearing loss, even a small one, follow-up care becomes even more important in the long run. Maintaining regular appointments would be a wise plan for Daphne. However, one study revealed that only about 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?
Remember when we used the glasses metaphor earlier? Daphne’s hearing won’t become static and stop changing just because she has hearing aids. Her hearing aids will need to be fine-tuned to counter those changes. Any hearing changes can be detected early with periodic monitoring.
And that’s not even the only reason why it might be a good idea to keep routine appointments after you have your hearing aids. Here are a few of the most significant reasons:
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing could continue to deteriorate even if you have hearing aids. Often, this deterioration of your hearing is very slow and without regular examinations, you probably won’t even recognize it. Hearing decline can often be slowed by properly adjusting your hearing aids.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in small ways, and while your general hearing may remain consistent, these small changes may require you to get regular hearing assessments. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less useful.
- Your fit may change: Because your ears are always changing, it’s very possible that how 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 check-ups.
Dangers and hurdles
The issue is, Daphne may, in her frustration, quit using her hearing aids altogether because they’re not functioning correctly. Using hearing aids helps slow down hearing loss over time. If you stop using them, not only can your hearing diminish faster, you may not notice it right away.
As far as achieving efficient performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, routine hearing exams are vital. Annual hearing assessments or screenings can help you be sure your hearing aids are working as they should and that your hearing stays protected.