Even if you have glasses (the type you put on your face, not the kind you drink out of), you still see your eye doctor yearly, right? Because your eyes change as time passes. Like the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t fixed and neither are your ears. That’s why, much like your eyes, it’s crucial to keep getting your ears examined even after you’ve purchased a quality pair of hearing aids.
Regrettably, many individuals skip those regular check-ups. Perhaps a visit to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or perhaps, work has been particularly stressful this year. Or maybe, you’ve just been so happy with your hearing aids that you haven’t felt the need to go back in. It seems like that would be good, right?
Scheduling a hearing assessment
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. Daphne has been detecting some red flags associated with her hearing for a while now. Her TV volume is getting louder and louder. She has problems following conversations at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And so, she goes to have her hearing assessed (because she’s smart and she takes care of herself).
After having her hearing examined, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she buys hearing aids, which are then properly fitted and calibrated, and then she gets on with her life.
Problem solved? Well, maybe not completely. It’s great that Daphne went in for a hearing exam and discovered her hearing problems early. But, in the long run, follow-up care becomes even more important for people with even minor hearing loss. Keeping up on regular appointments would be a smart 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.
Why do you need check-ups once you get hearing aids?
Remember when we used the glasses metaphor earlier? Daphne’s hearing won’t become static and stop changing just because she has hearing aids. Her hearing aids will have to be adjusted to account for those changes. Routine testing helps monitor any changes in hearing and detect issues early.
And there are other reasons for having regular hearing assessments after you get hearing aids. Some of the most common reasons to ensure you get to your next appointment include:
- Hearing aid calibration: While your overall hearing health might remain stable, slight changes in your hearing may produce the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Your hearing aid may become less and less reliable if you avoid this calibration.
- Hearing deterioration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing could continue to deteriorate. Often, this deterioration of your hearing is quite slow and without regular examinations, you probably won’t even recognize it. Hearing loss can frequently be slowed by correctly adjusting your hearing aids.
- Your fit may change: Because your hearing is always changing, it’s entirely possible that how your hearing aids fit around and in your ears will shift. Regular check-ups can help ensure that your hearing aids continue to fit the way they’re supposed to.
Hazards and hurdles
The issue is, Daphne may, in her frustration, quit using her hearing aids entirely because they’re not functioning properly. Wearing hearing aids helps slow hearing loss over time. Your hearing will decline faster if you stop wearing your hearing aids and you probably won’t even detect it.
In terms of attaining optimal performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, regular hearing assessments are essential. Yearly hearing assessments or screenings can help you make sure your hearing aids are working as they should and that your hearing remains protected.