Even if you use 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 fixed and neither are your ears. That’s why, much like your eyes, it’s essential to keep having your ears tested even after you’ve invested in a nice pair of hearing aids.
Regrettably, many individuals miss those routine check-ups. Perhaps they’ve been too occupied enjoying their lives to get back in to see the doctor. Or maybe, work has been especially hectic 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 should be a good thing, right?
Scheduling a hearing test
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. For some time now, Daphne has detected some symptoms associated with her hearing. Her TV volume continues to get louder. When she goes out after work to a loud restaurant, she has trouble following discussions. And so, she goes in to get her hearing tested (because she’s intelligent and she takes care of herself).
After getting her hearing assessed, Daphne does everything she’s supposed to: she buys hearing aids, which are then correctly fitted and calibrated, and then she gets on with her life.
Problem solved? Well, not quite. It’s great that Daphne went in for a hearing exam and caught her hearing problems early. But for most individuals with hearing loss, even a minor one, follow-up care becomes even more important in the long run. Maintaining routine appointments would be a smart idea for Daphne. But Daphne isn’t alone in neglected check-ups, based on one study, only 33% of senior citizens using hearing aids also maintained 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 has hearing aids. It’s essential to adjust the hearing aids to counter those changes. Regular testing helps monitor any changes in hearing and catch issues early.
And there are other reasons for having routine hearing exams once you get hearing aids. Some of the most common reasons to ensure you get to your next check-up include:
- Hearing aid calibration: While your general hearing health might remain stable, slight changes in your hearing may create the need for yearly calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less effective.
- 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 recognize it’s happening without the assistance of a hearing exam. Proper adjustments to your hearing aids can often slow hearing loss.
- Your fit may change: It’s likely that there will be a change in the way your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Regular check-ups can help guarantee that your hearing aids keep fitting the way they’re designed to.
Hazards and hurdles
The issue is, Daphne could, in her frustration, quit using her hearing aids entirely because they’re not functioning correctly. Using hearing aids helps slow hearing loss over time. If you stop using them, not only can your hearing deteriorate faster, you might not notice it right away.
If you want your hearing aids to keep working at an optimal level, routine check-ups are going to be your best bet in terms of attaining that. Yearly hearing exams or screenings can help you be sure your hearing aids are functioning as they should and that your hearing stays protected.