You will still see your eye doctor yearly even if you already wear eyeglasses. Because, over time, your eyes change. Nothing in your body is fixed, not your eyes and not, as it happens, your ears either. That’s why, even after you’ve purchased hearing aids, it’s essential to consistently get your ears checked just like you would with your eyes.
Many people, unfortunately, neglect those yearly appointments. Perhaps they’ve been too occupied enjoying their lives to get back in to see your physician. Or perhaps, work has been especially difficult 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 like that would be good, right?
Scheduling a hearing assessment
Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. For quite a while, Daphne has noted some warning signs associated with her hearing. Her TV volume is getting louder and louder. When she goes out after work to a loud 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 exam.
After getting her hearing examined, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them correctly calibrated, and then gets back to her normal routine.
Issue solved? Well, maybe not completely. Going in for an exam allowed her to recognize her hearing loss early and that’s great. But for most people with hearing loss, even a small one, follow-up care becomes almost more significant in the long run. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by keeping regular appointments. However, one study revealed that only about 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids get routine check-ups so Daphne isn’t by herself.
Why do you need check-ups after you get hearing aids?
Remember when we used the glasses metaphor earlier? Just because Daphne has hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become static and stop changing. It’s necessary to fine-tune the hearing aids to deal with those changes. Routine testing helps keep track of any changes in hearing and catch problems early.
And there are other benefits to getting regular hearing exams after you get hearing aids. Here are a few of the most significant reasons:
- Hearing aid calibration: While your general hearing health might remain stable, small changes in your hearing might produce the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less effective.
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing may continue to deteriorate even if you use hearing aids. If this degeneration is slow enough, you most likely won’t notice it’s happening without the assistance of a hearing test. Proper alterations to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing declines.
- Your fit may change: It’s possible that there will be a shift in how your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Making certain your hearing aids continue to fit well is a significant part of your regular exam.
Dangers and roadblocks
The problem is, Daphne could, in her frustration, stop using her hearing aids entirely because they’re not functioning properly. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by using hearing aids. If you stop using them, not only can your hearing deteriorate faster, you may not notice it right away.
In terms of attaining efficient performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, routine hearing exams are essential. Yearly hearing exams or screenings can help you be sure your hearing aids are functioning as they should and that your hearing stays protected.