You will still visit your eye doctor every year even if you already use 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 invested in hearing aids, it’s important to continue to have your ears tested much like you would with your eyes.
Many people, regrettably, skip those yearly appointments. Perhaps 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 maybe 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 assessment
Let’s use Daphne as our fictional stand-in. Daphne has been noticing some red flags associated with her hearing for some time now. Her TV volume continues to get louder. She has a hard time following conversations at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And so, she goes to get her hearing checked (because she’s smart and she takes care of herself).
After having her hearing tested, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them properly calibrated, and then goes back to her regular routine.
Issue solved? Well, not quite. Going in for a screening allowed her to recognize her hearing loss early and that’s great. But, over time, follow-up care becomes even more important for individuals with even a small amount of hearing loss. Keeping up on regular appointments would be a wise idea for Daphne. But Daphne’s not alone in avoiding check-ups, according to one study, only 33% of seniors with hearing aids also maintained routine hearing services.
If you already have hearing aids, why do you need check-ups?
Okay, remember our glasses metaphor? Just because Daphne has hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become fixed and stop changing. Her hearing aids will have to be adjusted to counter those changes. Routine testing helps track 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 have your hearing aids. Here are a few of the most significant reasons:
- Your fit may change: It’s possible 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 check-ups.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in slight ways, and while your overall hearing may remain stable, these small changes could require you to get regular hearing assessments. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less effective.
- Hearing degeneration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing may continue to deteriorate. If this degeneration is slow enough, you most likely won’t realize it’s happening without the assistance of a hearing exam. Proper adjustments to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing loss.
Dangers and hurdles
The issue is, Daphne could, in her frustration, quit using her hearing aids entirely because they’re not functioning properly. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by wearing hearing aids. Your hearing will deteriorate faster if you stop wearing your hearing aids and you probably won’t even notice it.
If you want your hearing aids to keep working at an optimal level, regular check-ups are going to be your best option in terms of attaining that. Safeguard your hearing and make sure your hearing aids are effectively working by getting regular screenings.