Even if you have glasses (the type you put on your face, not the kind you drink out of), you still see your eye doctor once a year, right? Because, over time, your eyes change. Nothing in your body is fixed, not your eyes and not, it turns out, your ears either. That’s why, just as it is with your eyes, it’s crucial to keep getting your ears tested even after you’ve invested in a nice pair of hearing aids.
Many individuals, regrettably, skip those annual appointments. Maybe they’ve been too occupied enjoying their lives to get back in to see the doctor. Or perhaps, work has been particularly difficult this year. Or perhaps, you’ve just been so happy with your hearing aids that you haven’t had a reason to go back in. It seems like that would be good, right?
Getting your hearing checked
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. For quite a while, Daphne has noted some symptoms with her hearing. Her TV volume is getting louder and louder. When she goes out after work to a loud restaurant, she has difficulty following discussions. And because she enjoys taking care of herself, and she’s intelligent, she schedules a hearing test.
Daphne makes sure 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. It’s great that Daphne went in for a hearing exam and discovered her hearing issues early. But, in the long run, follow-up care becomes even more significant for individuals with even minor hearing loss. Keeping up on routine appointments would be a smart idea for Daphne. But Daphne isn’t alone in neglected check-ups, according to one survey, only 33% of senior citizens using hearing aids also scheduled routine hearing services.
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. Periodic testing helps monitor any changes in hearing and catch problems early.
And that’s not even the only reason why it might be a good idea to keep regular appointments once you have your hearing aids. Some of the most common reasons to ensure you make it to your next appointment include:
- 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. Routine hearing tests can help guarantee that your hearing aids continue to fit the way they’re supposed to.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your general hearing health might remain stable, small changes in your hearing might create the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Your hearing aid may become less and less effective if you skip this calibration.
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing may continue to deteriorate even if you use hearing aids. If this deterioration is slow enough, you most likely won’t realize it’s happening without the aid of a hearing test. Hearing loss can frequently be slowed by correctly adjusting your hearing aids.
Dangers and hurdles
The issue is, Daphne may, in her frustration, stop using her hearing aids entirely because they’re not working properly. Wearing hearing aids helps slow down hearing loss over time. Your hearing will decline faster if you quit wearing your hearing aids and you most likely won’t even detect it.
If you want your hearing aids to keep working efficiently, routine exams are going to be your best option in terms of achieving that. Protect your hearing and make sure your hearing aids are effectively working by having regular screenings.