You will still see your eye doctor every year even if you already use eyeglasses. Because, over time, your eyes change. Similar to the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t fixed and neither are your ears. That’s why, just as it is with your eyes, it’s essential to keep having your ears tested even after you’ve invested in a nice pair of hearing aids.
Unfortunately, many people miss those regular check-ups. Maybe a visit to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or perhaps, work has been especially stressful this year. Or perhaps, you’ve just been so satisfied with your hearing aids that you haven’t felt the need to go back in. It seems as if that would be good, right?
Getting your hearing checked
Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. Daphne has been detecting some red flags associated with her hearing for a while now. She keeps increasing the volume on her TV. She has problems following conversations at after-work happy hours in noisy restaurants. And because she enjoys taking care of herself, and she’s smart, she schedules a hearing test.
Daphne makes sure to follow all of the instructions to manage her hearing impairment: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them correctly calibrated, and then goes back to her regular routine.
Issue solved? Well, maybe not completely. It’s great that Daphne went in for a hearing screening and discovered her hearing issues early. But, in the long run, follow-up care becomes even more important for people with even minor hearing loss. Maintaining routine appointments would be a smart idea for Daphne. However, one study revealed that only around 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?
Remember when we used the glasses metaphor earlier? Just because Daphne uses hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become static and stop changing. Her hearing aids will need to be fine-tuned to account for those changes. Any hearing changes can be recognized early with regular monitoring.
And that’s not even the only reason why it may be a smart idea to keep routine appointments after you get your hearing aids. Some of the most prevailing reasons to make sure you make it to your next check-up include:
- Your fit may change: Because your ears are always changing, it’s entirely possible that how your hearing aids fit inside of your ears will change. Routine check-ups can help ensure that your hearing aids continue to fit the way they’re supposed to.
- Hearing degeneration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing may keep deteriorating. Often, this deterioration of your hearing is quite slow and without regular examinations, you probably won’t even notice it. Hearing decline can frequently be slowed by appropriately adjusting your hearing aids.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your general hearing health might remain stable, slight changes in your hearing may produce the need for yearly calibration of your hearing aid. Your hearing aid could become less and less efficient if you skip this calibration.
Dangers and hurdles
The problem is, Daphne may, in her frustration, stop using her hearing aids altogether because they’re not functioning correctly. Wearing hearing aids helps slow down hearing loss over time. Your hearing will deteriorate faster if you quit using your hearing aids and you most likely won’t even notice it.
If you want your hearing aids to keep working at an optimal level, regular check-ups are going to be your best option in terms of attaining that. Yearly hearing exams or screenings can help you be sure your hearing aids are functioning as they should and that your hearing remains protected.