You will still see your eye doctor yearly even if you already use eyeglasses. Because, over time, your eyes change. Similar to the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t static and neither are your ears. That’s why, even after you’ve invested in hearing aids, it’s important to continue to get your ears checked just like you would with your eyes.
Regrettably, many people miss those regular check-ups. Maybe a trip to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or, it could be that your job has been hectic lately. Or perhaps you’ve simply decided not to go back in because you’re so happy with your hearing aids. That’s a good thing, right?
Getting your hearing assessed
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. Daphne has been observing some red flags associated with her hearing for a while now. She keeps turning the TV up. When she goes out after work to a loud restaurant, she has difficulty following discussions. And so, she goes in to have her hearing tested (because she’s intelligent and she takes care of herself).
After having her hearing tested, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she purchases hearing aids, which are then precisely fitted and calibrated, and then she gets on with her life.
Problem solved? Well, maybe not entirely. Going in for an exam allowed her to recognize her hearing loss early and that’s excellent. But, over time, follow-up care becomes even more important for people with even a small amount of hearing loss. Keeping up on routine appointments would be a smart idea for Daphne. But Daphne’s not alone in bypassing check-ups, according to one survey, just 33% of seniors with hearing aids also scheduled routine hearing services.
Why do you need hearing exams after you have hearing aids?
Okay, remember our glasses metaphor? Daphne’s hearing won’t become static and stop changing just because she uses hearing aids. It’s essential to fine-tune the hearing aids to deal with those changes. Any hearing changes can be discovered early with regular monitoring.
And there are other reasons for getting routine hearing assessments after you get hearing aids. Some of the most common reasons to ensure you make it to your next check-up include:
- Your fit may change: Because your ears are always changing, it’s quite possible that the way your hearing aids fit inside of your ears will shift. Regular check-ups 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 continue to be stable, small changes in your hearing might produce the need for yearly calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less effective.
- Hearing deterioration: Your hearing may continue to deteriorate even if you use hearing aids. If this degeneration is slow enough, you probably won’t notice it’s happening without the aid of a hearing test. Proper adjustments to your hearing aids can often slow hearing declines.
Dangers and roadblocks
The greatest challenge here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is using will quit working the way they’re intended to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop using them entirely. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by using hearing aids. If you quit using them, not only can your hearing deteriorate faster, you might not notice it right away.
If you want your hearing aids to keep working efficiently, routine check-ups are going to be your best option in terms of attaining that. Protect your hearing and make sure your hearing aids are effectively working by getting regular screenings.