You will still visit your eye doctor annually even if you already wear eyeglasses. Because your eyes change as time passes. Nothing in your body is static, not your eyes and not, as it happens, your ears either. That’s why, even after you’ve invested in hearing aids, it’s essential to continue to get your ears tested much like you would with your eyes.
Many individuals, regrettably, neglect those yearly appointments. Perhaps a visit to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or perhaps, work has been particularly 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’s a good thing, right?
Scheduling a hearing test
Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. For quite a while, Daphne has detected some warning signs with her hearing. She keeps increasing the volume on her TV. She has problems following conversations at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And so, she goes in to get her hearing tested (because she’s intelligent and she takes care of herself).
Daphne makes sure 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 gets back to her normal routine.
Problem solved? Well, yes and no. It’s fantastic that Daphne went in for a hearing screening and caught her hearing problems early. But for most people with hearing impairment, even a small one, follow-up care becomes almost more significant in the long run. Maintaining regular appointments would be a wise idea for Daphne. However, one study revealed that only about 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids get routine check-ups so Daphne isn’t by herself.
If you already have hearing aids, why do you need check-ups?
Alright, remember our glasses metaphor? Daphne’s hearing won’t become static and stop changing just because she has hearing aids. Her hearing aids will have to be fine-tuned to account for those changes. Any hearing changes can be detected early with periodic monitoring.
And there are other benefits to getting routine hearing assessments after you get hearing aids. Here are a few of the most important reasons:
- Your fit may change: It’s likely that there will be a shift in how your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Routine check-ups can help guarantee that your hearing aids continue to fit the way they’re supposed to.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in slight ways, and while your overall hearing may remain consistent, these slight changes may require you to get regular hearing tests. Your hearing aid could become less and less effective if you avoid this calibration.
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing could continue to deteriorate even if you have hearing aids. If this deterioration is slow enough, you probably won’t recognize it’s happening without the aid of a hearing screening. Hearing loss can frequently be slowed by correctly adjusting your hearing aids.
Hazards and roadblocks
The ultimate challenge here is that sooner or later, 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 entirely. Wearing hearing aids helps slow hearing loss over time. Your hearing will decline faster if you stop wearing your hearing aids and you most likely won’t even notice it.
When it comes to achieving efficient performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, regular hearing exams are essential. Safeguard your hearing and ensure your hearing aids are effectively working by having routine screenings.