You will still visit your eye doctor annually even if you already use eyeglasses. 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 essential to keep having your ears checked even after you’ve purchased a quality pair of hearing aids.
Many people, unfortunately, neglect those annual appointments. Maybe they’ve been too busy enjoying their lives to get back in to see the doctor. Or perhaps, work has been especially difficult this year. Or maybe you’ve just decided to not go back in because you’re so happy with your hearing aids. It seems as if that would be good, right?
Getting your hearing examined
Let’s take Daphne as an imaginary example. For some time now, Daphne has noted some warning signs associated with her hearing. Her TV volume continues to get louder. When she goes out after work to a loud restaurant, she has difficulty following discussions. And so, she goes to get her hearing tested (because she’s intelligent and she takes care of herself).
After having her hearing tested, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them properly calibrated, and then gets back to her normal routine.
Problem solved? Well, maybe not completely. Going in for an exam allowed her to recognize her hearing loss early and that’s excellent. But, in the long run, follow-up care becomes even more important for individuals with even minor hearing loss. Keeping up on routine appointments would be a smart idea for Daphne. But Daphne isn’t alone in avoiding check-ups, based on one survey, just 33% of senior citizens using hearing aids also scheduled routine hearing services.
If you already have hearing aids, why do you need regular hearing exams?
Okay, remember our glasses metaphor? Daphne’s hearing won’t become fixed and stop changing just because she uses hearing aids. It’s essential to adjust the hearing aids to deal with those changes. Any hearing changes can be identified early with routine monitoring.
And there are other reasons for getting routine hearing assessments once you get hearing aids. Some of the most prevailing reasons to make sure you get to your next appointment include:
- Your fit may change: Because your ears are always changing, it’s quite possible that the way your hearing aids fit around and in your ears will shift. Making sure your hearing aids continue to fit properly is a significant part of your regular exam.
- 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 examinations. Without this calibration, your hearing aids may slowly become less and less useful.
- Hearing degeneration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing may keep deteriorating. If this deterioration is slow enough, you most likely won’t notice it’s happening without the assistance of a hearing screening. Hearing decline can often be slowed by correctly adjusting your hearing aids.
Hazards and hurdles
The issue is, Daphne could, in her frustration, stop using her hearing aids altogether because they’re not functioning properly. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by wearing hearing aids. If you stop using them, not only can your hearing diminish faster, you may not detect it right away.
In terms of achieving efficient performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, routine hearing exams are vital. Annual hearing assessments or screenings can help you ensure your hearing aids are working as they should and that your hearing remains protected.