Even if you have glasses (the kind you put on your face, not the kind you fill with liquid), you still see your eye doctor annually, right? 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, much like your eyes, it’s essential to keep getting your ears assessed even after you’ve invested in a nice pair of hearing aids.
Many individuals, unfortunately, miss those annual appointments. Maybe they’ve been too busy enjoying their lives to get back in to see your physician. Or, it may be that your job has been difficult lately. Or perhaps, you’ve just been so happy with your hearing aids that you haven’t felt the need to go back in. It seems as if that would be good, right?
Getting your hearing assessed
Let’s take Daphne as an imaginary example. Daphne has been detecting some red flags with her hearing for some time now. Her TV volume is getting louder and louder. When she goes out after work to a loud restaurant, she has trouble following discussions. And because she likes to take care of herself, and she’s intelligent, she schedules a hearing test.
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 goes on with her life.
Problem solved? Well, maybe not entirely. It’s great that Daphne went in for a hearing test and discovered her hearing issues early. But, over time, follow-up care becomes almost more significant for people with even minor hearing loss. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by maintaining regular appointments. But Daphne’s not alone in neglected check-ups, based on one survey, just 33% of senior citizens using hearing aids also maintained regular hearing services.
If you already have hearing aids, why do you need regular hearing exams?
Remember when we used the glasses metaphor earlier? Daphne’s hearing won’t become fixed and stop changing just because she uses hearing aids. It’s important to fine-tune the hearing aids to counter those changes. Regular testing helps track any changes in hearing and catch issues early.
And that isn’t even the only reason why it might be a good idea to keep regular appointments after you get your hearing aids. Here are some of the most important reasons:
- Your fit may change: Because your hearing is always changing, it’s very 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 check-ups.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in slight ways, and while your general hearing may remain stable, these slight changes could require you to get regular hearing tests. Without this calibration, your hearing aids may slowly become less and less reliable.
- Hearing degeneration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing could keep deteriorating. Frequently, this deterioration of your hearing is quite gradual and without routine screenings, you probably won’t even recognize it. Hearing loss can often be slowed by correctly fine-tuning your hearing aids.
Dangers and roadblocks
The ultimate problem here is that eventually, the hearing aids Daphne is wearing will quit working the way they’re meant to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop using them entirely. Using hearing aids helps slow hearing loss over time. Your hearing will deteriorate faster if you stop wearing your hearing aids and you most likely won’t even notice it.
As far as achieving optimal performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, routine hearing exams are essential. Safeguard your hearing and make sure your hearing aids are properly working by getting regular screenings.