You will still see your eye doctor every year even if you already use eyeglasses. Because, over time, your eyes change. Nothing in your body is static, not your eyes and not, as it happens, 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 purchased a quality pair of hearing aids.
Many people, unfortunately, neglect those annual appointments. Perhaps they’ve been too occupied enjoying their lives to get back in to see your physician. Or maybe, work has been particularly hectic this year. Or maybe, you’ve just been so satisfied with your hearing aids that you haven’t had a reason to go back in. That should be a good thing, right?
Scheduling a hearing test
Let’s use Daphne as our fictional stand-in. For quite a while, Daphne has detected some symptoms with her hearing. Her TV volume is getting louder and louder. She has problems following discussions at after-work happy hours in noisy restaurants. And because she likes to take care of herself, and she’s intelligent, she schedules a hearing test.
Daphne makes certain to follow all of the instructions to manage her hearing impairment: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them precisely calibrated, and then gets back to her regular routine.
Issue solved? Well, not quite. Going in for a screening allowed her to recognize her hearing loss early and that’s excellent. 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. But Daphne isn’t alone in avoiding check-ups, according to one survey, just 33% of seniors with hearing aids also maintained routine hearing services.
If you already use hearing aids, why do you need check-ups?
Remember when we used the glasses metaphor earlier? Daphne’s hearing won’t become fixed and stop changing just because she has hearing aids. It’s important to adjust the hearing aids to deal with those changes. Any hearing changes can be identified early with periodic monitoring.
And there are other reasons for getting routine hearing exams once you get hearing aids. Here are a few of the most important reasons:
- Your fit may change: Because your hearing is always changing, it’s quite possible that how your hearing aids fit inside of your ears will change. Regular hearing tests can help ensure that your hearing aids continue to fit the way they’re designed to.
- Hearing deterioration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing could continue to deteriorate. If this deterioration is slow enough, you probably won’t realize it’s happening without the assistance of a hearing screening. Hearing loss can frequently be slowed by correctly fine-tuning your hearing aids.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your overall hearing health might remain stable, slight changes in your hearing might create the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids may slowly become less and less reliable.
Hazards and hurdles
The main concern here is that eventually, the hearing aids Daphne is wearing will stop working the way they’re supposed to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop using them altogether. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by wearing hearing aids. Your hearing will deteriorate faster if you quit using your hearing aids and you probably won’t even detect it.
In terms of achieving optimal performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, routine hearing exams are essential. Protect your hearing and ensure your hearing aids are effectively working by having regular screenings.