You will still visit your eye doctor yearly even if you already wear eyeglasses. Because your eyes change as time passes. Like the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t static and neither are your ears. That’s why, much like your eyes, it’s essential to keep getting your ears tested even after you’ve purchased a nice pair of hearing aids.
Many individuals, unfortunately, neglect those annual appointments. Maybe they’ve been too busy enjoying their lives to get back in to see the doctor. Or, it could be that your job has been difficult lately. Or perhaps you’ve simply decided to not go back in because you’re so happy with your hearing aids. That should be a good thing, right?
Scheduling a hearing exam
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. Daphne has been observing some red flags associated with her hearing for some time now. She keeps increasing the volume on her TV. When she goes out after work to a loud restaurant, she has a hard time following discussions. And because she enjoys taking care of herself, and she’s smart, she schedules a hearing test.
After having her hearing tested, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them properly calibrated, and then gets back to her regular routine.
Issue solved? Well, yes and no. It’s great that Daphne went in for a hearing test and discovered her hearing issues early. But for most people with hearing impairment, even a small one, follow-up care becomes even more significant in the long run. Maintaining regular appointments would be a wise idea for Daphne. However, one study found that only around 33% of seniors with hearing aids get regular check-ups so Daphne isn’t alone.
If you already have hearing aids, why do you need check-ups?
Okay, remember our glasses metaphor? Daphne’s hearing won’t become fixed and stop changing just because she uses hearing aids. It’s essential to fine-tune the hearing aids to counter those changes. Periodic testing helps monitor any changes in hearing and detect problems early.
And that isn’t even the only reason why it might be a smart idea to keep regular appointments after you have your hearing aids. Some of the most prevailing reasons to ensure you make it to your next check-up include:
- Hearing aid calibration: While your general hearing health might continue to be stable, slight changes in your hearing may produce the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids may slowly become less and less reliable.
- Your fit may change: Because your ears are always changing, it’s entirely possible that how your hearing aids fit inside of your ears will change. Routine hearing tests can help guarantee that your hearing aids keep fitting the way they’re supposed to.
- Hearing degeneration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing could keep deteriorating. If this degeneration is slow enough, you probably won’t notice it’s happening without the aid of a hearing test. Hearing loss can frequently be slowed by correctly adjusting your hearing aids.
Hazards and roadblocks
The greatest 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 using hearing aids. If you stop wearing them, not only can your hearing deteriorate faster, you may not detect it right away.
In terms of achieving optimal performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, regular hearing assessments are vital. Annual hearing tests or screenings can help you make sure your hearing aids are working as they should and that your hearing stays protected.