You will still see your eye doctor yearly even if you already wear eyeglasses. Because your eyes change as time passes. Like the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t fixed and neither are your ears. That’s why, even after you’ve invested in hearing aids, it’s important to continue to have your ears checked just like you would with your eyes.
Many individuals, unfortunately, skip those annual appointments. Perhaps a trip to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or maybe, work has been especially stressful this year. Or perhaps, you’ve just been so happy with your hearing aids that you haven’t had a reason to go back in. That should be a good thing, right?
Getting your hearing assessed
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. For quite a while, Daphne has noted some symptoms connected to her hearing. She keeps increasing the volume on her TV. When she goes out after work to a loud restaurant, she has a hard time following discussions. And because she likes to take care of herself, and she’s intelligent, she schedules a hearing test.
After having her hearing tested, Daphne does everything she’s supposed to: she purchases hearing aids, which are then properly fitted and calibrated, and then she gets on with her life.
Problem solved? Well, yes and no. Going in for a screening allowed her to recognize her hearing loss early and that’s great. But, in the long run, follow-up care becomes almost more significant for people with even a small amount of hearing loss. Keeping up on routine appointments would be a wise plan for Daphne. However, one study found that only about 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids get regular check-ups so Daphne isn’t alone.
Why do you need check-ups after you have hearing aids?
Okay, remember our glasses metaphor? Just because Daphne has hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become static and stop changing. It’s important to adjust the hearing aids to counter those changes. Regular testing helps monitor any changes in hearing and catch issues early.
And there are other reasons for getting routine hearing exams after you get hearing aids. Some of the most common reasons to make sure you make it to your next appointment include:
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in small ways, and while your overall hearing may remain stable, these small changes may require you to get regular hearing tests. Your hearing aid could become less and less reliable if you skip this calibration.
- Hearing deterioration: Your hearing could continue to deteriorate even if you use hearing aids. If this deterioration is slow enough, you probably won’t realize it’s happening without the help of a hearing exam. Hearing decline can often be slowed by appropriately adjusting your hearing aids.
- Your fit may change: It’s possible that there will be a shift in how your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Making certain your hearing aids continue to fit well is a big part of your regular check-ups.
Dangers and hurdles
The problem is, Daphne may, in her frustration, stop using her hearing aids altogether because they’re not working correctly. Wearing hearing aids helps slow hearing loss over time. Your hearing will deteriorate faster if you stop using your hearing aids and you most likely won’t even detect it.
When it comes to attaining efficient performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, routine hearing assessments are essential. Safeguard your hearing and make sure your hearing aids are properly working by having routine screenings.