Even if you use glasses (the type you put on your face, not the kind you fill with liquid), you still see your eye doctor yearly, right? Because, as time goes by, your eyes change. Nothing in your body is fixed, not your eyes and not, it turns out, your ears either. That’s why, just as it is with your eyes, it’s essential to keep getting your ears examined even after you’ve purchased a quality pair of hearing aids.
Many people, regrettably, neglect those yearly appointments. Perhaps a trip to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or maybe, work has been especially stressful this year. 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 as if that would be good, right?
Getting your hearing assessed
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. She has difficulty following conversations at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And so, she goes to get her hearing checked (because she’s smart and she takes care of herself).
Daphne makes certain to follow all of the steps to manage her hearing impairment: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them correctly calibrated, and then gets back to her regular routine.
Issue solved? Well, maybe not completely. Going in for a screening allowed her to recognize her hearing loss early and that’s excellent. But, over time, follow-up care becomes even more significant for people with even a small amount of hearing loss. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by maintaining regular appointments. But Daphne’s not alone in neglected check-ups, according to one survey, just 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids also scheduled regular hearing services.
Why do you need check-ups once you have hearing aids?
Alright, remember our glasses metaphor? Just because Daphne uses hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become static and stop changing. It’s essential to fine-tune the hearing aids to counter those changes. Any hearing changes can be discovered 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 have your hearing aids. Here are some of the most important reasons:
- Hearing aid calibration: While your general hearing health may remain stable, slight changes in your hearing may create the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Your hearing aid may become less and less reliable if you avoid this calibration.
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing may continue to deteriorate even if you use hearing aids. If this degeneration is slow enough, you probably won’t notice it’s happening without the aid of a hearing test. Hearing loss can frequently be slowed by correctly adjusting your hearing aids.
- Your fit may change: It’s likely that there will be a change in how your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Making sure your hearing aids continue to fit well is a significant part of your regular check-ups.
Dangers and roadblocks
The problem is, Daphne could, in her frustration, stop using her hearing aids entirely because they’re not functioning correctly. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by wearing hearing aids. If you quit wearing them, not only can your hearing deteriorate faster, you might not notice it right away.
If you want your hearing aids to continue working at an optimal level, routine check-ups are going to be your best option in terms of attaining that. Annual hearing exams or screenings can help you be sure your hearing aids are working as they should and that your hearing remains protected.