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 annually, 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, even after you’ve invested in hearing aids, it’s imperative to continue to get your ears checked just like you would with your eyes.
Many people, unfortunately, skip those annual appointments. Maybe they’ve been too occupied enjoying their lives to get back in to see the doctor. Or maybe, work has been especially difficult this year. Or maybe, you’ve just been so satisfied with your hearing aids that you haven’t felt the need to go back in. It seems as if that would be good, right?
Getting your hearing checked
Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. Daphne has been noticing some red flags related to her hearing for some time now. Her TV volume is getting louder and louder. She has difficulty following conversations at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And so, she goes in to get her hearing tested (because she’s intelligent and she takes care of herself).
After having her hearing checked, Daphne does everything she’s supposed to: she buys hearing aids, which are then properly fitted and calibrated, and then she goes on with her life.
Problem solved? Well, maybe not entirely. Going in for a screening allowed her to recognize her hearing loss early and that’s excellent. But for most people with hearing impairment, even a minor one, follow-up care becomes almost more significant in the long run. Keeping up on routine appointments would be a wise plan for Daphne. But Daphne’s not alone in neglected check-ups, based on one survey, just 33% of senior citizens using hearing aids also scheduled routine hearing services.
If you already have hearing aids, why do you need regular hearing exams?
Alright, remember our glasses metaphor? Just because Daphne uses hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become static 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 there are other benefits to having regular hearing assessments after you get hearing aids. Some of the most prevailing reasons to ensure you get to your next check-up include:
- Hearing aid calibration: While your general hearing health may continue to be stable, small changes in your hearing may create the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Your hearing aid may become less and less reliable if you skip this calibration.
- Your fit may change: It’s likely that there will be a shift in the way your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Regular hearing tests can help ensure that your hearing aids continue to fit the way they’re designed to.
- 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 routine screenings, you most likely won’t even detect it. Appropriate alterations to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing declines.
Hazards and hurdles
The greatest challenge here is that eventually, the hearing aids Daphne is wearing will quit working the way they’re supposed to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop wearing them entirely. Wearing hearing aids helps slow hearing loss over time. If you quit using them, not only can your hearing diminish faster, you may not detect it right away.
If you want your hearing aids to continue working at an optimal level, routine check-ups are going to be your best bet in terms of attaining that. Safeguard your hearing and ensure your hearing aids are properly working by getting regular screenings.