Even if you use glasses (the kind you put on your face, not the kind you drink out of), you still see your eye doctor once a year, 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, just as it is with your eyes, it’s essential to keep getting your ears examined even after you’ve invested in a quality pair of hearing aids.
Unfortunately, many people skip those regular check-ups. Perhaps they’ve been too busy enjoying their lives to get back in to see the doctor. Or, it may be that your job has been hectic lately. Or perhaps, you’ve just been so satisfied with your hearing aids that you haven’t had a reason to go back in. It seems as if that would be good, right?
Scheduling a hearing exam
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. Daphne has been observing some red flags with her hearing for some time now. She keeps turning the TV up. She has problems following conversations at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And so, she goes to get her hearing assessed (because she’s smart 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 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 problems early. But for most individuals with hearing loss, even a minor one, follow-up care becomes almost more important in the long run. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by maintaining regular appointments. However, one study found that only around 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids get routine check-ups so Daphne isn’t alone.
Why do you need hearing exams once you get hearing aids?
Alright, remember our glasses metaphor? Daphne’s hearing won’t become static and stop changing just because she uses hearing aids. It’s essential to adjust the hearing aids to counter those changes. Periodic testing helps monitor 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 once you get your hearing aids. Some of the most common reasons to make sure you make it to your next appointment include:
- Hearing aid calibration: While your overall hearing health might continue to be stable, small changes in your hearing may create the need for yearly calibration of your hearing aid. Your hearing aid could become less and less reliable if you skip this calibration.
- Your fit may change: Because your ears are always changing, it’s very possible that the way your hearing aids fit around and in your ears will shift. Regular hearing tests can help ensure that your hearing aids continue to fit the way they’re supposed to.
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing may continue to worsen even if you have hearing aids. If this deterioration is slow enough, you most likely won’t recognize it’s happening without the aid of a hearing exam. Hearing loss can frequently be slowed by appropriately adjusting your hearing aids.
Hazards and roadblocks
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 down hearing loss over time. If you quit wearing them, not only can your hearing diminish faster, you might not detect it right away.
If you want your hearing aids to continue working at an optimal level, regular exams are going to be your best option in terms of achieving that. Annual hearing exams or screenings can help you make sure your hearing aids are functioning as they should and that your hearing remains protected.