You will still visit your eye doctor every year even if you already wear eyeglasses. Because, over time, your eyes change. Like the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t static and neither are your ears. That’s why, even after you’ve purchased hearing aids, it’s essential to consistently get your ears examined just like you would with your eyes.
Unfortunately, many people skip those routine check-ups. Maybe they’ve been too busy enjoying their lives to get back in to see your physician. Or maybe, work has been especially hectic this year. Or maybe you’ve simply 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 test
Let’s take Daphne as an imaginary example. Daphne has been observing some red flags with her hearing for a while now. She keeps increasing the volume on her TV. When she goes out after work to a noisy restaurant, she has a hard time following discussions. And because she likes to take care of herself, and she’s intelligent, she schedules a hearing assessment.
After having her hearing checked, Daphne does everything she’s supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them precisely calibrated, and then gets back to her normal routine.
Issue solved? Well, maybe not entirely. Going in for an exam 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 vital in the long run. Keeping up on routine appointments would be a wise idea for Daphne. However, one study found that only around 33% of seniors with hearing aids get routine check-ups so Daphne isn’t alone.
Why do you need check-ups after you have hearing aids?
Okay, remember our glasses metaphor? Daphne’s hearing won’t become fixed and stop changing just because she has hearing aids. Her hearing aids will need to be adjusted to account for those changes. Any hearing changes can be recognized early with regular monitoring.
And that isn’t even the only reason why it might be a smart idea to keep routine appointments once you get your hearing aids. Here are a few of the most significant reasons:
- Hearing deterioration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing may keep deteriorating. Often, this degeneration of your hearing is quite gradual and without regular screenings, you probably won’t even detect it. Correct adjustments to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing loss.
- 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. Regular check-ups can help guarantee that your hearing aids keep fitting the way they’re designed to.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your general hearing health might remain stable, slight changes in your hearing might create the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids may slowly become less and less useful.
Hazards and roadblocks
The greatest challenge here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is using will quit working the way they’re meant to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop wearing them entirely. Wearing hearing aids helps slow down hearing loss over time. Your hearing will decline faster if you quit wearing your hearing aids and you most likely won’t even detect it.
When it comes to achieving efficient performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, routine hearing exams are essential. Annual hearing exams or screenings can help you be sure your hearing aids are working as they should and that your hearing stays protected.