Even if you use glasses (the type you put on your face, not the kind you drink out of), you still see your eye doctor annually, right? Because your eyes change over time. Nothing in your body is fixed, not your eyes and not, as it happens, your ears either. That’s why, just as it is with your eyes, it’s crucial to keep getting your ears examined even after you’ve purchased a quality pair of hearing aids.
Many individuals, regrettably, skip those yearly appointments. Maybe a trip to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or perhaps, work has been particularly stressful this year. Or maybe you’ve simply decided to not 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 take Daphne as a fictional example. For some time now, Daphne has detected some symptoms connected to her hearing. She keeps turning the TV up. She has difficulty following conversations at after-work happy hours in noisy restaurants. And because she enjoys taking care of herself, and she’s intelligent, 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 goes back to her regular routine.
Issue solved? Well, maybe not entirely. Going in for a screening allowed her to catch her hearing loss early and that’s excellent. But for most people with hearing loss, even a minor one, follow-up care becomes even more significant in the long run. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by maintaining routine appointments. But Daphne isn’t alone in neglected check-ups, based on one study, only 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids also scheduled routine hearing services.
If you already have hearing aids, why do you need check-ups?
Alright, remember our glasses metaphor? Just because Daphne uses 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. Periodic testing helps monitor any changes in hearing and catch problems early.
And there are other benefits to having regular hearing exams after you get hearing aids. Some of the most common reasons to make sure you get to your next check-up include:
- Your fit may change: It’s possible that there will be a shift in the way your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Routine hearing tests can help guarantee that your hearing aids keep fitting the way they’re supposed to.
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing could continue to worsen even if you have hearing aids. If this degeneration is slow enough, you probably won’t recognize it’s happening without the assistance of a hearing test. Appropriate adjustments to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing loss.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in small ways, and while your overall hearing may remain stable, these slight changes may require you to get regular hearing tests. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less useful.
Dangers and roadblocks
The main problem 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 wearing them altogether. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by wearing hearing aids. If you quit using them, not only can your hearing deteriorate faster, you might not detect 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. Yearly hearing tests or screenings can help you ensure your hearing aids are working as they should and that your hearing remains protected.