Even if you use glasses (the type you put on your face, not the kind you fill with liquid), you still see your eye doctor once a year, right? Because, as time passes, your eyes change. Nothing in your body is fixed, not your eyes and not, as it happens, your ears either. That’s why, even after you’ve purchased hearing aids, it’s essential to continue to get your ears tested just like you would with your eyes.
Unfortunately, many individuals miss those routine check-ups. Perhaps they’ve been too busy enjoying their lives to get back in to see the doctor. Or perhaps, work has been particularly stressful this year. Or perhaps you’ve just decided not to go back in because you’re so happy with your hearing aids. It seems as if that would be good, right?
Scheduling a hearing exam
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. For quite a while, Daphne has noted some symptoms with her hearing. Her TV volume continues to get louder. She has a hard time understanding discussions at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And because she likes to take care of herself, and she’s smart, she schedules a hearing exam.
Daphne makes sure to follow all of the steps to manage her hearing impairment: she buys hearing aids, which are then precisely fitted and calibrated, and then she goes on with her life.
Issue solved? Well, yes and no. It’s great that Daphne went in for a hearing exam and caught her hearing issues early. But, over time, follow-up care becomes even more significant for people with even minor hearing loss. Keeping up on routine appointments would be a wise idea for Daphne. However, one study found that only around 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids get regular check-ups so Daphne isn’t by herself.
If you already have hearing aids, why do you need check-ups?
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. It’s necessary to fine-tune the hearing aids to deal with those changes. Any hearing changes can be identified early with regular monitoring.
And there are other reasons for having regular hearing assessments once you get hearing aids. Here are a few of the most significant reasons:
- Hearing deterioration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing could continue to deteriorate. If this deterioration is slow enough, you probably won’t notice it’s happening without the aid of a hearing exam. Proper alterations to your hearing aids can often slow hearing loss.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your general hearing health may remain stable, slight changes in your hearing might produce the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Your hearing aid may become less and less effective if you avoid this calibration.
- Your fit may change: It’s likely that there will be a change in the way 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 supposed to.
Hazards and roadblocks
The problem is, Daphne could, in her frustration, stop using her hearing aids entirely because they’re not working correctly. Wearing hearing aids helps slow hearing loss over time. Your hearing will decline faster if you stop wearing your hearing aids and you probably won’t even notice it.
As far as attaining efficient performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, regular hearing assessments are vital. Yearly hearing assessments or screenings can help you ensure your hearing aids are working as they should and that your hearing remains protected.