Even if you have glasses (the kind you put on your face, not the kind you fill with liquid), you still see your eye doctor yearly, right? Because your eyes change over time. Nothing in your body is fixed, not your eyes and not, it turns out, your ears either. That’s why, just as it is with your eyes, it’s essential to keep getting your ears assessed even after you’ve invested in a quality pair of hearing aids.
Many people, regrettably, miss those annual appointments. Maybe a visit 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 to not go back in because you’re so satisfied with your hearing aids. That’s a good thing, right?
Scheduling a hearing test
Let’s use Daphne as our fictional stand-in. Daphne has been observing some red flags with her hearing for some time now. She keeps turning the TV up. She has problems understanding conversations at after-work happy hours in noisy restaurants. And because she likes to take care of herself, and she’s intelligent, she schedules a hearing exam.
After having her hearing examined, 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 regular routine.
Issue solved? Well, maybe not entirely. It’s great that Daphne went in for a hearing exam and caught her hearing problems early. But, over time, follow-up care becomes even more significant for people with even minor hearing loss. Maintaining regular appointments would be a wise idea for Daphne. But Daphne’s not alone in neglected check-ups, based on one study, only 33% of seniors using hearing aids also scheduled routine hearing services.
Why do you need check-ups after you get hearing aids?
Alright, remember our glasses metaphor? Just because Daphne uses hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become static and stop changing. Her hearing aids will have to be adjusted to account for those changes. Regular testing helps track any changes in hearing and catch problems early.
And that isn’t even the only reason why it might be a smart idea to keep routine appointments after you get your hearing aids. Some of the most common reasons to ensure you make it to your next check-up include:
- Hearing deterioration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing could keep deteriorating. Frequently, this deterioration of your hearing is quite slow and without routine screenings, you probably won’t even recognize it. Proper adjustments to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing declines.
- Your fit may change: It’s likely 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 continue to fit the way they’re supposed to.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in slight ways, and while your general hearing may remain consistent, these slight changes could require you to get regular hearing examinations. Your hearing aid could become less and less efficient if you avoid this calibration.
Hazards and hurdles
The problem is, Daphne could, in her frustration, stop using her hearing aids altogether because they’re not functioning properly. Using hearing aids helps slow hearing loss over time. If you stop wearing them, not only can your hearing diminish faster, you might not notice it right away.
If you want your hearing aids to continue working efficiently, regular exams are going to be your best bet in terms of attaining that. Yearly hearing exams or screenings can help you make sure your hearing aids are working as they should and that your hearing stays protected.