You will still visit your eye doctor annually even if you already wear eyeglasses. Because your eyes change as time passes. Similar to the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t static and neither are your ears. That’s why, just as it is with your eyes, it’s crucial to keep having your ears assessed even after you’ve invested in a quality pair of hearing aids.
Unfortunately, many people miss those routine check-ups. Perhaps a visit to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or, it could be that your job has been difficult lately. Or perhaps, you’ve just been so pleased with your hearing aids that you haven’t had a reason to go back in. It seems as if that would be good, right?
Getting your hearing examined
Let’s use Daphne as our fictional stand-in. For some time now, Daphne has noted some warning signs with her hearing. Her TV volume is getting louder and louder. When she goes out after work to a noisy restaurant, she has trouble following discussions. And because she enjoys taking care of herself, and she’s intelligent, she schedules a hearing exam.
After getting her hearing checked, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she buys hearing aids, which are then properly fitted and calibrated, and then she goes on with her life.
Issue solved? Well, maybe not entirely. It’s fantastic that Daphne went in for a hearing exam and caught her hearing issues early. But, over time, follow-up care becomes almost more significant for people with even a small amount of hearing loss. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by keeping routine appointments. However, one study found that only around 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids get routine check-ups so Daphne isn’t by herself.
Why do you need hearing exams once you get hearing aids?
Alright, remember our glasses metaphor? Daphne’s hearing won’t become fixed and stop changing just because she has hearing aids. Her hearing aids will need to be adjusted to account for those changes. Routine testing helps track any changes in hearing and catch problems early.
And there are other reasons for having regular hearing exams after you get hearing aids. Here are some of the most significant reasons:
- Hearing deterioration: 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 test. Proper alterations to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing loss.
- Your fit may change: Because your ears are always changing, it’s entirely possible that the way your hearing aids fit inside of your ears will shift. Making sure your hearing aids continue to fit properly is a big part of your regular exam.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your overall hearing health might continue to be stable, slight changes in your hearing may produce the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less useful.
Hazards and hurdles
The ultimate concern here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is using will quit working the way they’re intended to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop wearing them altogether. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by wearing hearing aids. Your hearing will decline faster if you quit wearing your hearing aids and you most likely won’t even notice it.
In terms of achieving optimal performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, regular hearing assessments are essential. Protect your hearing and make sure your hearing aids are properly working by getting regular screenings.