You will still see your eye doctor every year even if you already use eyeglasses. Because your eyes change as time passes. Like the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t fixed and neither are your ears. That’s why, even after you’ve purchased hearing aids, it’s important to continue to have your ears examined just like you would with your eyes.
Regrettably, many individuals miss those routine check-ups. Perhaps they’ve been too busy enjoying their lives to get back in to see your physician. Or perhaps, work has been especially hectic this year. Or maybe, you’ve just been so happy with your hearing aids that you haven’t felt the need to go back in. It seems as if that would be good, right?
Scheduling a hearing assessment
Let’s take Daphne as an imaginary 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 a hard time following discussions. And because she likes to take care of herself, and she’s intelligent, she schedules a hearing assessment.
After having her hearing assessed, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she purchases hearing aids, which are then correctly fitted and calibrated, and then she gets on with her life.
Issue solved? Well, yes and no. It’s fantastic that Daphne went in for a hearing test and discovered her hearing issues early. But, in the long run, follow-up care becomes almost more important for individuals with even a small amount of hearing loss. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by maintaining regular appointments. 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 once you get hearing aids?
Okay, remember our glasses metaphor? Just because Daphne has 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. Regular testing helps track 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 after you have your hearing aids. Here are some of the most significant reasons:
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in slight ways, and while your overall hearing may remain stable, these small changes may require you to get regular hearing assessments. Your hearing aid could become less and less effective if you skip this calibration.
- Hearing deterioration: Your hearing could continue to deteriorate even if you have hearing aids. Often, this degeneration of your hearing is quite slow and without routine examinations, you probably won’t even notice it. Hearing decline can often be slowed by properly adjusting your hearing aids.
- Your fit may change: Because your hearing is always changing, it’s very possible that how your hearing aids fit around and in your ears will shift. Regular hearing tests can help guarantee that your hearing aids continue to fit the way they’re designed to.
Dangers and hurdles
The ultimate problem here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is wearing will stop working the way they’re intended to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop using them altogether. 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 detect it.
As far as achieving efficient performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, regular hearing exams are vital. Annual hearing exams or screenings can help you be sure your hearing aids are working as they should and that your hearing remains protected.