Even if you use glasses (the type you put on your face, not the kind you drink out of), you still visit your eye doctor yearly, right? Because your eyes change as time passes. Like 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 crucial to keep getting your ears examined even after you’ve invested in a quality pair of hearing aids.
Unfortunately, many people skip those routine check-ups. Perhaps a visit 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 been so satisfied with your hearing aids that you haven’t felt the need to go back in. That’s a good thing, right?
Scheduling a hearing test
Let’s take Daphne as an imaginary example. For some time now, Daphne has noted some warning signs connected to her hearing. She keeps turning the TV up. She has a hard time following discussions at after-work happy hours in noisy restaurants. And so, she goes to have her hearing assessed (because she’s smart and she takes care of herself).
Daphne makes certain to follow all of the steps to manage her hearing impairment: she buys hearing aids, which are then precisely fitted and calibrated, and then she gets on with her life.
Issue solved? Well, maybe not completely. Going in for a screening allowed her to catch her hearing loss early and that’s excellent. But for most people with hearing impairment, even a small one, follow-up care becomes almost more vital in the long run. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by going to regular appointments. However, one study found that only around 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids get routine check-ups so Daphne isn’t by herself.
Why do you need check-ups once you get hearing aids?
Okay, remember our glasses metaphor? Just because Daphne uses hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become static and stop changing. It’s necessary to fine-tune the hearing aids to counter those changes. Periodic testing helps track any changes in hearing and catch problems early.
And there are other benefits to getting routine hearing exams once you get hearing aids. Some of the most common reasons to make sure you get to your next check-up include:
- 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 examinations. Your hearing aid may become less and less efficient if you skip this calibration.
- Your fit may change: It’s possible that there will be a change in how your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Routine check-ups can help ensure that your hearing aids continue to fit the way they’re designed to.
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing may continue to deteriorate even if you have hearing aids. Often, this degeneration of your hearing is quite gradual and without regular examinations, you probably won’t even recognize it. Proper adjustments to your hearing aids can often slow hearing declines.
Dangers and roadblocks
The main concern 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 using them altogether. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by using hearing aids. If you quit using them, not only can your hearing diminish faster, you might not notice it right away.
In terms of attaining optimal performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, routine hearing exams are essential. Annual hearing exams or screenings can help you be sure your hearing aids are working as they should and that your hearing stays protected.