You will still see your eye doctor yearly even if you already wear eyeglasses. Because, over time, your eyes change. Like the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t fixed and neither are your ears. That’s why, just as it is with your eyes, it’s essential to keep having your ears examined even after you’ve invested in a quality pair of hearing aids.
Regrettably, many individuals skip those regular check-ups. Maybe a trip to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or, it could be that your job has been hectic lately. Or maybe you’ve just decided not to go back in because you’re so satisfied with your hearing aids. It seems as if that would be good, right?
Scheduling a hearing test
Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. Daphne has been noticing some red flags associated with her hearing for a while now. She keeps turning the TV up. When she goes out after work to a loud restaurant, she has a hard time following conversations. And because she likes to take care of herself, and she’s intelligent, she schedules a hearing exam.
After having her hearing checked, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she purchases hearing aids, which are then properly fitted and calibrated, and then she goes on with her life.
Issue solved? Well, yes and no. Going in for a screening allowed her to catch her hearing loss early and that’s great. But for most individuals with hearing impairment, even a minor one, follow-up care becomes almost more vital in the long run. Keeping up on regular appointments would be a smart plan for Daphne. However, one study revealed that only about 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids get regular check-ups so Daphne isn’t by herself.
If you already use hearing aids, why do you need check-ups?
Remember when we used the glasses metaphor earlier? Just because Daphne has hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become fixed and stop changing. Her hearing aids will have to be adjusted to account for those changes. Periodic testing helps keep track of any changes in hearing and catch issues early.
And that’s not even the only reason why it might be a smart idea to keep regular appointments once you get your hearing aids. Some of the most common reasons to ensure you make it to your next appointment include:
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in slight ways, and while your general hearing may remain stable, these small changes may require you to get regular hearing tests. Your hearing aid may become less and less reliable if you avoid this calibration.
- Your fit may change: It’s likely that there will be a change in how your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Regular hearing tests can help ensure that your hearing aids keep fitting the way they’re supposed to.
- Hearing deterioration: Your hearing may continue to worsen even if you have hearing aids. If this deterioration is slow enough, you probably won’t notice it’s happening without the assistance of a hearing screening. Proper alterations to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing declines.
Dangers and roadblocks
The greatest 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 entirely. Using hearing aids helps slow down hearing loss over time. If you quit wearing them, not only can your hearing diminish faster, you may not detect it right away.
As far as achieving efficient performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, routine hearing exams are essential. Protect your hearing and make sure your hearing aids are effectively working by getting regular screenings.