You will still visit your eye doctor every year even if you already wear 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, even after you’ve invested in hearing aids, it’s essential to continue to get your ears assessed just like you would with your eyes.
Many people, regrettably, neglect those annual appointments. Perhaps a trip to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or, it could be that your job has been difficult lately. Or perhaps, you’ve just been so pleased with your hearing aids that you haven’t had a reason to go back in. It seems like that would be good, right?
Getting your hearing assessed
Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. Daphne has been noticing some red flags related to her hearing for a while now. She keeps increasing the volume on her TV. She has problems understanding discussions at after-work happy hours in noisy restaurants. And because she enjoys taking care of herself, and she’s intelligent, she schedules a hearing exam.
After having her hearing checked, Daphne does everything she’s 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, yes and no. Going in for a screening allowed her to recognize her hearing loss early and that’s excellent. But for most people with hearing impairment, even a minor one, follow-up care becomes almost more important in the long run. Keeping up on routine appointments would be a smart plan for Daphne. However, one study found that only about 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids get regular check-ups so Daphne isn’t by herself.
Why do you need hearing exams once you get hearing aids?
Remember when we used the glasses metaphor earlier? Just because Daphne has hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become fixed and stop changing. It’s important to adjust the hearing aids to counter those changes. Any hearing changes can be identified early with periodic monitoring.
And that’s not even the only reason why it may be a smart idea to keep routine appointments after you get your hearing aids. Some of the most prevailing reasons to make sure you get to your next appointment include:
- Your fit may change: It’s likely that there will be a shift in the way your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Regular hearing tests can help guarantee that your hearing aids continue to fit the way they’re supposed to.
- Hearing deterioration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing could continue to deteriorate. Frequently, this degeneration of your hearing is quite slow and without regular screenings, you most likely won’t even detect it. Hearing loss can often be slowed by correctly adjusting your hearing aids.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in small ways, and while your general hearing may remain stable, these slight changes could require you to get regular hearing assessments. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less effective.
Dangers and roadblocks
The issue is, Daphne may, in her frustration, stop using her hearing aids altogether because they’re not working correctly. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by using hearing aids. Your hearing will deteriorate faster if you stop wearing your hearing aids and you most likely won’t even detect it.
When it comes to attaining optimal performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, routine hearing assessments are vital. Protect your hearing and ensure your hearing aids are effectively working by getting regular screenings.