You will still see your eye doctor every year even if you already use eyeglasses. Because your eyes change over time. Similar to 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 have your ears tested much like you would with your eyes.
Many people, unfortunately, skip those yearly appointments. Perhaps a trip to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or maybe, work has been especially difficult this year. Or perhaps you’ve simply decided not to go back in because you’re so happy with your hearing aids. It seems as if that would be good, right?
Scheduling a hearing test
Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. Daphne has been noticing some red flags with her hearing for some time now. She keeps turning the TV up. When she goes out after work to a noisy restaurant, she has a hard time following conversations. And because she enjoys taking care of herself, and she’s smart, she schedules a hearing exam.
After having her hearing tested, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them correctly calibrated, and then gets back to her normal routine.
Issue solved? Well, yes and no. It’s fantastic that Daphne went in for a hearing exam and caught her hearing issues early. But for most people with hearing impairment, even a minor one, follow-up care becomes even more important in the long run. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by going to regular appointments. But Daphne’s not alone in avoiding check-ups, according to one survey, only 33% of senior citizens using hearing aids also scheduled regular 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 uses hearing aids. It’s necessary to adjust the hearing aids to deal with those changes. Any hearing changes can be identified early with periodic 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. Here are some of the most important reasons:
- 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. Routine hearing tests can help ensure that your hearing aids keep fitting the way they’re designed to.
- Hearing deterioration: Your hearing may continue to worsen even if you have hearing aids. Often, this degeneration of your hearing is quite gradual and without routine screenings, you most likely won’t even detect it. Proper alterations to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing loss.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your overall hearing health may remain stable, slight changes in your hearing might create the need for yearly calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids may slowly become less and less useful.
Hazards and roadblocks
The ultimate problem here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is using will stop working the way they’re meant to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop wearing them entirely. Wearing hearing aids helps slow down hearing loss over time. If you quit wearing them, not only can your hearing deteriorate faster, you might not notice it right away.
When it comes to achieving optimal performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, regular hearing exams are essential. Protect your hearing and ensure your hearing aids are effectively working by getting regular screenings.