You will still visit your eye doctor annually even if you already wear eyeglasses. Because your eyes change over time. Nothing in your body is static, not your eyes and not, as it happens, your ears either. That’s why, just as it is with your eyes, it’s essential to keep getting your ears assessed even after you’ve purchased a quality pair of hearing aids.
Many people, regrettably, skip those yearly appointments. Perhaps a visit to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or perhaps, work has been particularly stressful this year. Or perhaps, you’ve just been so satisfied with your hearing aids that you haven’t had a reason to go back in. That’s a good thing, right?
Scheduling a hearing exam
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. For some time now, Daphne has noted some warning signs connected to her hearing. She keeps increasing the volume on her TV. She has difficulty following discussions at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And so, she goes in to have her hearing checked (because she’s intelligent and she takes care of herself).
Daphne makes certain to follow all of the steps to manage her hearing impairment: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them precisely calibrated, and then goes back to her normal routine.
Problem solved? Well, yes and no. 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 important in the long run. Maintaining regular appointments would be a wise plan for Daphne. But Daphne’s not alone in bypassing check-ups, according to one study, only 33% of senior citizens using hearing aids also scheduled routine hearing services.
Why do you need hearing exams after you get hearing aids?
Alright, remember our glasses metaphor? Just because Daphne uses hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become fixed and stop changing. Her hearing aids will need to be adjusted to counter those changes. Any hearing changes can be identified early with periodic monitoring.
And that’s not even the only reason why it might be a smart idea to keep routine appointments once you get your hearing aids. Here are a few of the most significant reasons:
- Hearing deterioration: Your hearing may continue to worsen even if you have hearing aids. Often, this degeneration of your hearing is very gradual and without routine examinations, you most likely won’t even detect it. Proper adjustments to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing declines.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in slight ways, and while your overall hearing may remain stable, these small changes may require you to get regular hearing tests. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less reliable.
- Your fit may change: Because your hearing is always changing, it’s quite possible that how your hearing aids fit around and in your ears will change. Routine hearing tests can help ensure that your hearing aids keep fitting the way they’re supposed to.
Hazards and hurdles
The ultimate problem here is that eventually, the hearing aids Daphne is using will quit 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. Your hearing will decline faster if you stop using your hearing aids and you probably won’t even detect it.
If you want your hearing aids to keep working efficiently, routine check-ups are going to be your best option in terms of achieving that. Protect your hearing and make sure your hearing aids are properly working by having regular screenings.