You will still see your eye doctor yearly even if you already wear eyeglasses. 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, much like your eyes, it’s crucial to keep getting your ears assessed even after you’ve purchased a nice pair of hearing aids.
Unfortunately, many people miss those regular check-ups. Maybe they’ve been too occupied enjoying their lives to get back in to see your physician. Or, it could be that your job has been stressful lately. Or maybe, you’ve just been so satisfied with your hearing aids that you haven’t felt the need to go back in. It seems like that would be good, right?
Scheduling a hearing assessment
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. 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 assessment.
After having her hearing examined, Daphne does everything she’s supposed to: she buys hearing aids, which are then correctly fitted and calibrated, and then she goes on with her life.
Problem solved? Well, yes and no. It’s great that Daphne went in for a hearing exam and caught her hearing problems early. But, in the long run, follow-up care becomes even more significant for individuals with even a small amount of hearing loss. Maintaining regular appointments would be a smart idea for Daphne. But Daphne isn’t alone in bypassing check-ups, based on one survey, just 33% of seniors using hearing aids also maintained regular hearing services.
If you already use hearing aids, why do you need check-ups?
Alright, 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. Any hearing changes can be discovered early with periodic monitoring.
And that isn’t even the only reason why it might be a good idea to keep routine appointments after you have your hearing aids. Some of the most prevailing reasons to make sure you make it to your next check-up include:
- Hearing aid calibration: While your overall hearing health may remain stable, small changes in your hearing may produce the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less useful.
- Your fit may change: Because your ears are always changing, it’s quite possible that how your hearing aids fit inside of your ears will shift. Making sure your hearing aids continue to fit well is a significant part of your regular exam.
- Hearing deterioration: Your hearing may continue to worsen even if you have hearing aids. If this degeneration is slow enough, you probably won’t notice it’s happening without the assistance of a hearing test. Appropriate alterations to your hearing aids can often slow hearing declines.
Dangers and hurdles
The issue is, Daphne could, in her frustration, stop using her hearing aids altogether because they’re not functioning properly. Using hearing aids helps slow down hearing loss over time. If you quit using them, not only can your hearing diminish faster, you might not notice it right away.
As far as achieving optimal performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, routine hearing exams are essential. Yearly hearing exams or screenings can help you ensure your hearing aids are functioning as they should and that your hearing remains protected.