You will still visit your eye doctor yearly even if you already wear eyeglasses. Because, as time passes, your eyes change. Like the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t static and neither are your ears. That’s why, even after you’ve purchased hearing aids, it’s imperative to continue to get your ears checked just like you would with your eyes.
Many people, regrettably, neglect those yearly appointments. Perhaps a trip to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or, it might be that your job has been stressful lately. Or perhaps, you’ve just been so happy with your hearing aids that you haven’t felt the need to go back in. That’s a good thing, right?
Scheduling a hearing test
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. Daphne has been observing some red flags related to her hearing for a while now. She keeps turning the TV up. She has difficulty following discussions at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And because she likes to take care of herself, and she’s intelligent, she schedules a hearing exam.
After having her hearing checked, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them properly calibrated, and then goes back to her normal routine.
Problem solved? Well, maybe not entirely. It’s fantastic that Daphne went in for a hearing test and discovered her hearing problems early. But for most people with hearing impairment, even a small one, follow-up care becomes even more vital in the long run. Keeping up on routine appointments would be a wise plan for Daphne. But Daphne’s not alone in bypassing check-ups, based on one study, just 33% of seniors using hearing aids also maintained regular hearing services.
Why do you need hearing exams once you have hearing aids?
Alright, remember our glasses metaphor? Just because Daphne has hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become fixed and stop changing. It’s necessary to fine-tune the hearing aids to deal with those changes. Regular testing helps track any changes in hearing and detect problems early.
And that’s not even the only reason why it might be a smart idea to keep regular appointments once you get your hearing aids. Here are a few of the most significant reasons:
- Hearing degeneration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing could continue to deteriorate. Often, this degeneration of your hearing is very slow and without regular examinations, you probably won’t even detect it. Correct adjustments to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing loss.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your general hearing health might remain stable, small changes in your hearing may create the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Your hearing aid may become less and less effective if you skip this calibration.
- Your fit may change: It’s likely that there will be a change in the way your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Making sure your hearing aids continue to fit well is a big part of your regular exam.
Hazards and hurdles
The ultimate challenge here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is wearing will quit working the way they’re intended to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop wearing them entirely. Using hearing aids helps slow hearing loss over time. Your hearing will decline faster if you stop wearing your hearing aids and you most likely won’t even detect it.
If you want your hearing aids to continue working efficiently, routine check-ups are going to be your best option in terms of achieving that. Annual hearing exams or screenings can help you be sure your hearing aids are working as they should and that your hearing remains protected.