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 yearly, right? Because, over time, your eyes change. Similar to the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t static and neither are your ears. That’s why, even after you’ve invested in hearing aids, it’s essential to continue to get your ears checked just like you would with your eyes.
Many individuals, regrettably, miss those annual appointments. Perhaps a visit to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or, it might be that your job has been hectic lately. Or perhaps, you’ve just been so pleased with your hearing aids that you haven’t had a reason to go back in. That’s a good thing, right?
Scheduling a hearing assessment
Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. For quite a while, Daphne has noted some symptoms associated with her hearing. Her TV volume is getting louder and louder. When she goes out after work to a loud restaurant, she has a hard time following conversations. And because she enjoys taking care of herself, and she’s intelligent, she schedules a hearing exam.
Daphne makes certain to follow all of the instructions to manage her hearing impairment: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them precisely calibrated, and then goes back to her regular routine.
Problem solved? Well, not quite. 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 small one, follow-up care becomes almost more important in the long run. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by going to routine appointments. But Daphne isn’t alone in avoiding check-ups, according to one survey, only 33% of seniors with hearing aids also maintained regular hearing services.
Why do you need hearing exams after you have hearing aids?
Okay, remember our glasses metaphor? Daphne’s hearing won’t become static and stop changing just because she has hearing aids. It’s essential to fine-tune the hearing aids to deal with those changes. Periodic testing helps track any changes in hearing and detect problems early.
And that isn’t even the only reason why it may be a good idea to keep routine appointments after you get your hearing aids. Here are a few of the most important reasons:
- Your fit may change: It’s possible that there will be a change in how your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Making certain your hearing aids continue to fit well is a significant part of your regular exam.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your overall hearing health may remain stable, slight changes in your hearing might create the need for yearly calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less reliable.
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing may continue to deteriorate even if you have hearing aids. If this degeneration is slow enough, you most likely won’t realize it’s happening without the help of a hearing screening. Hearing loss can often be slowed by correctly fine-tuning your hearing aids.
Hazards and roadblocks
The greatest concern here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is using will stop working the way they’re intended to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop wearing them entirely. Wearing hearing aids helps slow hearing loss over time. If you stop wearing them, not only can your hearing diminish faster, you might not notice it right away.
In terms of achieving efficient performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, routine hearing exams are vital. Yearly hearing tests or screenings can help you make sure your hearing aids are working as they should and that your hearing stays protected.