You will still see your eye doctor yearly even if you already wear eyeglasses. Because, over time, 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 imperative to consistently have your ears checked much like you would with your eyes.
Many people, regrettably, miss those annual appointments. Maybe they’ve been too occupied enjoying their lives to get back in to see your physician. Or, it might be that your job has been difficult lately. Or maybe, you’ve just been so happy with your hearing aids that you haven’t had a reason to go back in. It seems like that would be good, right?
Getting your hearing checked
Let’s take Daphne as an imaginary example. Daphne has been observing some red flags related to her hearing for a while now. Her TV volume continues to get louder. She has a hard time following conversations at after-work happy hours in noisy restaurants. And so, she goes to have her hearing assessed (because she’s smart and she takes care of herself).
Daphne makes certain to follow all of the instructions to manage her hearing impairment: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them properly calibrated, and then goes back to her regular routine.
Issue solved? Well, yes and no. Going in for an exam allowed her to recognize her hearing loss early and that’s excellent. But, over time, follow-up care becomes almost more important for people with even minor hearing loss. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by maintaining routine appointments. However, one study found that only about 33% of seniors with hearing aids get routine check-ups so Daphne isn’t by herself.
Why do you need check-ups after you have hearing aids?
Okay, remember our glasses metaphor? Just because Daphne has 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. Any hearing changes can be discovered early with regular monitoring.
And there are other benefits to getting regular hearing exams once you get hearing aids. Here are a few of the most important reasons:
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in small ways, and while your overall hearing may remain consistent, these small changes may require you to get regular hearing tests. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less reliable.
- 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. Making sure your hearing aids continue to fit properly is a big part of your regular exam.
- Hearing deterioration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing may continue to deteriorate. If this deterioration is slow enough, you probably won’t realize it’s happening without the help of a hearing test. Correct adjustments to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing loss.
Dangers and roadblocks
The main concern here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is wearing will quit working the way they’re intended to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop using them altogether. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by using hearing aids. If you quit wearing them, not only can your hearing deteriorate faster, you might not notice it right away.
If you want your hearing aids to continue working at an optimal level, routine exams are going to be your best option in terms of achieving that. Safeguard your hearing and make sure your hearing aids are effectively working by getting routine screenings.