You will still visit your eye doctor every year even if you already wear eyeglasses. Because your eyes change as time passes. Nothing in your body is fixed, not your eyes and not, it turns out, your ears either. That’s why, even after you’ve purchased hearing aids, it’s imperative to continue to have your ears examined much like you would with your eyes.
Many people, unfortunately, miss those yearly appointments. Maybe they’ve been too busy enjoying their lives to get back in to see the doctor. Or perhaps, work has been especially stressful this year. Or maybe you’ve just decided not to go back in because you’re so pleased with your hearing aids. It seems like that would be good, right?
Scheduling a hearing exam
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. For some time now, Daphne has noted some warning signs associated with her hearing. She keeps increasing the volume on her TV. When she goes out after work to a loud restaurant, she has trouble following conversations. And so, she goes in to get her hearing checked (because she’s intelligent and she takes care of herself).
Daphne makes certain to follow all of the instructions to manage her hearing impairment: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them correctly calibrated, and then gets back to her regular routine.
Issue solved? Well, maybe not completely. It’s fantastic that Daphne went in for a hearing screening and caught her hearing issues early. But for most individuals with hearing loss, even a minor one, follow-up care becomes even more important in the long run. Maintaining routine appointments would be a smart plan for Daphne. But Daphne’s not alone in bypassing check-ups, according to one survey, only 33% of senior citizens using hearing aids also maintained routine hearing services.
If you already have hearing aids, why do you need regular hearing exams?
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. Her hearing aids will need to be adjusted to account for those changes. Regular testing helps keep track of any changes in hearing and detect problems early.
And there are other reasons for getting regular hearing exams after you get hearing aids. Some of the most prevailing reasons to ensure you get to your next appointment include:
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in small ways, and while your overall hearing may remain consistent, these slight changes could require you to get regular hearing tests. Without this calibration, your hearing aids may slowly become less and less reliable.
- 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. Regular hearing tests can help guarantee that your hearing aids keep fitting the way they’re designed to.
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing may continue to worsen even if you use hearing aids. Frequently, this deterioration of your hearing is very slow and without regular screenings, you probably won’t even detect it. Correct adjustments to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing declines.
Hazards and hurdles
The greatest problem here is that eventually, the hearing aids Daphne is using will quit working the way they’re supposed to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop wearing them altogether. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by using hearing aids. If you stop wearing them, not only can your hearing diminish faster, you might not notice it right away.
As far as achieving optimal performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, regular hearing exams are essential. Protect your hearing and make sure your hearing aids are effectively working by having routine screenings.