Even if you use glasses (the type you put on your face, not the kind you drink out of), you still see your eye doctor once a year, right? Because your eyes change as time passes. Nothing in your body is static, not your eyes and not, it turns out, your ears either. That’s why, much like your eyes, it’s essential to keep getting your ears tested even after you’ve invested in a quality pair of hearing aids.
Many people, regrettably, miss those yearly appointments. Maybe a visit to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or, it may be that your job has been hectic lately. Or perhaps, you’ve just been so satisfied with your hearing aids that you haven’t felt the need to go back in. That’s a good thing, right?
Scheduling a hearing test
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. For quite a while, Daphne has detected some warning signs connected to her hearing. Her TV volume is getting louder and louder. She has problems 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 exam.
After getting her hearing assessed, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them precisely calibrated, and then goes back to her regular routine.
Issue solved? Well, maybe not completely. It’s fantastic that Daphne went in for a hearing exam and caught her hearing issues early. But for most individuals with hearing impairment, even a minor one, follow-up care becomes almost more vital in the long run. Maintaining regular appointments would be a smart idea for Daphne. But Daphne isn’t alone in bypassing check-ups, based on one survey, just 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids also maintained regular hearing services.
If you already have hearing aids, why do you need regular hearing exams?
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 have to be fine-tuned to account for those changes. Regular testing helps monitor any changes in hearing and catch issues early.
And that’s not even the only reason why it may be a smart idea to keep routine appointments once you get your hearing aids. Some of the most common reasons to ensure you make it to your next check-up include:
- Your fit may change: Because your hearing is always changing, it’s quite possible that how your hearing aids fit inside of your ears will change. Routine hearing tests can help guarantee that your hearing aids keep fitting the way they’re supposed to.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your general hearing health might continue to be stable, small changes in your hearing may produce the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Your hearing aid could become less and less effective if you skip this calibration.
- Hearing deterioration: Your hearing could continue to deteriorate even if you use hearing aids. If this deterioration is slow enough, you probably won’t realize it’s happening without the aid of a hearing screening. Appropriate adjustments to your hearing aids can often slow hearing loss.
Dangers and roadblocks
The ultimate concern here is that eventually, the hearing aids Daphne is using will stop working the way they’re meant to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop using them altogether. Wearing hearing aids helps slow down hearing loss over time. If you stop using them, not only can your hearing diminish faster, you might not notice it right away.
If you want your hearing aids to keep working efficiently, regular exams are going to be your best option in terms of attaining that. Annual hearing assessments or screenings can help you make sure your hearing aids are working as they should and that your hearing stays protected.