Even if you use glasses (the kind you put on your face, not the kind you drink out of), you still visit your eye doctor yearly, right? Because your eyes change over time. Similar to the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t fixed and neither are your ears. That’s why, even after you’ve purchased hearing aids, it’s important to consistently have your ears examined just like you would with your eyes.
Many individuals, regrettably, neglect those annual appointments. Perhaps a trip to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or maybe, work has been particularly difficult this year. Or maybe, you’ve just been so pleased with your hearing aids that you haven’t had a reason to go back in. That should be a good thing, right?
Scheduling a hearing assessment
Let’s take Daphne as an imaginary example. Daphne has been detecting some red flags associated with her hearing for a while now. Her TV volume continues to get louder. 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.
Daphne makes sure to follow all of the steps to manage her hearing impairment: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them precisely 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 screening and discovered her hearing problems early. But, in the long run, follow-up care becomes almost more significant for individuals with even a small amount of hearing loss. Keeping up on routine appointments would be a smart idea for Daphne. But Daphne isn’t alone in bypassing check-ups, based on one survey, just 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids also maintained routine hearing services.
Why do you need check-ups once you have 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. It’s important to adjust the hearing aids to deal with those changes. Regular testing helps track any changes in hearing and catch problems early.
And that isn’t 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 get to your next appointment include:
- Hearing aid calibration: While your overall hearing health may continue to be stable, slight changes in your hearing may create the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less useful.
- Your fit may change: Because your ears are always changing, it’s entirely possible that the way your hearing aids fit around and in your ears will shift. Routine hearing tests can help guarantee that your hearing aids keep fitting the way they’re supposed to.
- Hearing deterioration: Your hearing could continue to deteriorate even if you use hearing aids. Often, this deterioration of your hearing is quite gradual and without routine screenings, you probably won’t even notice it. Hearing decline can frequently be slowed by appropriately fine-tuning your hearing aids.
Dangers and roadblocks
The main challenge here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is wearing will stop working the way they’re intended to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop using them altogether. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by using hearing aids. 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 continue working at an optimal level, regular exams are going to be your best bet in terms of attaining that. Yearly hearing assessments or screenings can help you make sure your hearing aids are functioning as they should and that your hearing stays protected.