Even if you have glasses (the type you put on your face, not the kind you fill with liquid), you still visit your eye doctor yearly, right? Because, over time, your eyes change. Nothing in your body is fixed, not your eyes and not, it turns out, your ears either. That’s why, even after you’ve purchased hearing aids, it’s essential to continue to have your ears tested much like you would with your eyes.
Many people, regrettably, neglect those annual appointments. Perhaps they’ve been too busy enjoying their lives to get back in to see your physician. Or, it might be that your job has been stressful lately. Or maybe, 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?
Getting your hearing examined
Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. For quite a while, Daphne has detected some symptoms associated with her hearing. She keeps increasing the volume on her TV. When she goes out after work to a loud restaurant, she has difficulty following conversations. And so, she goes in to have her hearing tested (because she’s smart and she takes care of herself).
After getting her hearing tested, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them correctly calibrated, and then gets back to her regular routine.
Problem solved? Well, not quite. It’s fantastic that Daphne went in for a hearing screening and discovered her hearing issues early. But, in the long run, follow-up care becomes even more important for individuals with even a small amount of hearing loss. Keeping up on regular appointments would be a smart plan for Daphne. However, one study revealed that only about 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids get routine check-ups so Daphne isn’t alone.
Why do you need check-ups once you have hearing aids?
Remember when we used the glasses metaphor earlier? Daphne’s hearing won’t become fixed and stop changing just because she uses hearing aids. Her hearing aids will need to be adjusted to account for those changes. Regular testing helps keep track of any changes in hearing and detect problems early.
And that’s not even the only reason why it may be a smart idea to keep regular appointments once you get your hearing aids. Some of the most prevailing reasons to make sure you get to your next appointment include:
- Hearing deterioration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing may keep deteriorating. Often, this degeneration of your hearing is quite gradual and without routine examinations, you most likely won’t even recognize it. Appropriate adjustments to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing declines.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your overall hearing health may continue to be stable, small changes in your hearing might create the need for yearly calibration of your hearing aid. Your hearing aid may become less and less reliable if you skip this calibration.
- Your fit may change: Because your hearing is always changing, it’s very possible that how your hearing aids fit inside of your ears will shift. Regular check-ups can help ensure that your hearing aids keep fitting the way they’re designed to.
Dangers and hurdles
The issue is, Daphne may, in her frustration, quit using her hearing aids entirely because they’re not working properly. Wearing hearing aids helps slow hearing loss over time. Your hearing will deteriorate faster if you quit wearing your hearing aids and you most likely won’t even detect it.
If you want your hearing aids to continue working efficiently, routine check-ups are going to be your best bet in terms of achieving that. Annual hearing assessments or screenings can help you make sure your hearing aids are functioning as they should and that your hearing remains protected.