You will still visit your eye doctor yearly even if you already wear eyeglasses. Because, as time goes by, your eyes change. Nothing in your body is fixed, not your eyes and not, as it happens, your ears either. That’s why, much like your eyes, it’s essential to keep getting your ears checked even after you’ve purchased a nice pair of hearing aids.
Unfortunately, many individuals skip those regular check-ups. Perhaps a visit to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or perhaps, work has been particularly stressful this year. Or maybe you’ve just decided to not go back in because you’re so pleased with your hearing aids. That should be a good thing, right?
Scheduling a hearing test
Let’s use Daphne as our fictional stand-in. Daphne has been observing some red flags with her hearing for a while now. She keeps turning the TV up. When she goes out after work to a noisy restaurant, she has trouble following conversations. And so, she goes in to get her hearing assessed (because she’s intelligent and she takes care of herself).
After having her hearing assessed, Daphne does everything she’s supposed to: she buys hearing aids, which are then properly fitted and calibrated, and then she gets on with her life.
Problem solved? Well, maybe not completely. Going in for a screening allowed her to recognize her hearing loss early and that’s great. But, over time, follow-up care becomes even more significant for people with even minor hearing loss. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by keeping regular appointments. However, one study revealed that only about 33% of seniors with hearing aids get routine check-ups so Daphne isn’t alone.
If you already use hearing aids, why do you need regular hearing exams?
Remember when we used the glasses metaphor earlier? Just because Daphne uses hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become fixed and stop changing. Her hearing aids will have to be adjusted to counter those changes. Regular testing helps monitor any changes in hearing and detect problems early.
And that’s not even the only reason why it may be a good idea to keep regular appointments once you have your hearing aids. Some of the most prevailing reasons to ensure you get to your next appointment include:
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in slight ways, and while your overall hearing may remain consistent, these small changes may require you to get regular hearing tests. Without this calibration, your hearing aids may slowly become less and less effective.
- 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 keep fitting the way they’re supposed to.
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing could continue to worsen even if you use hearing aids. Often, this degeneration of your hearing is very gradual and without regular examinations, you most likely won’t even notice it. Hearing loss can frequently be slowed by correctly adjusting your hearing aids.
Hazards and roadblocks
The problem is, Daphne could, 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 stop wearing your hearing aids and you probably won’t even notice it.
If you want your hearing aids to keep working at an optimal level, regular exams are going to be your best option in terms of achieving that. Yearly hearing tests or screenings can help you ensure your hearing aids are working as they should and that your hearing stays protected.