You will still see your eye doctor yearly even if you already wear eyeglasses. Because, as time passes, your eyes change. Nothing in your body is static, not your eyes and not, as it happens, your ears either. That’s why, much like your eyes, it’s crucial to keep getting your ears assessed even after you’ve purchased a nice pair of hearing aids.
Many individuals, unfortunately, neglect those annual appointments. Perhaps they’ve been too busy enjoying their lives to get back in to see your physician. Or perhaps, work has been especially difficult this year. Or maybe, you’ve just been so satisfied with your hearing aids that you haven’t felt the need to go back in. That should be a good thing, right?
Scheduling a hearing exam
Let’s take Daphne as an imaginary example. For quite a while, Daphne has noted some symptoms connected to her hearing. She keeps increasing the volume on her TV. She has difficulty following discussions at after-work happy hours in noisy restaurants. And because she enjoys taking care of herself, and she’s intelligent, she schedules a hearing test.
After getting her hearing assessed, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she buys hearing aids, which are then precisely fitted and calibrated, and then she goes on with her life.
Issue solved? Well, not quite. Going in for an exam allowed her to recognize her hearing loss early and that’s great. But for most people with hearing loss, even a minor one, follow-up care becomes almost more significant in the long run. Maintaining routine appointments would be a wise plan 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 use hearing aids, why do you need check-ups?
Alright, remember our glasses metaphor? Just because Daphne uses hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become static and stop changing. Her hearing aids will need to be fine-tuned to account for those changes. Any hearing changes can be detected early with routine monitoring.
And there are other reasons for getting regular hearing assessments once you get hearing aids. Some of the most prevailing reasons to ensure you make it to your next appointment include:
- Hearing deterioration: Your hearing may continue to deteriorate even if you have hearing aids. If this deterioration is slow enough, you most likely won’t realize it’s happening without the help of a hearing screening. Hearing decline can often be slowed by properly fine-tuning your hearing aids.
- 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 certain your hearing aids continue to fit well is a big part of your regular exam.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your overall hearing health may 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 could slowly become less and less reliable.
Hazards and roadblocks
The main concern here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is using will quit working the way they’re supposed 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 using them, not only can your hearing deteriorate faster, you might not detect it right away.
As far as attaining optimal performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, routine hearing exams are essential. Protect your hearing and ensure your hearing aids are effectively working by getting regular screenings.