Even if you use glasses (the kind you put on your face, not the kind you fill with liquid), you still visit your eye doctor once a year, right? Because your eyes change over time. Like 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 crucial to keep having your ears checked even after you’ve invested in a quality pair of hearing aids.
Many individuals, regrettably, neglect those annual appointments. Maybe they’ve been too occupied enjoying their lives to get back in to see your physician. Or maybe, work has been particularly stressful this year. Or maybe you’ve just decided to not go back in because you’re so happy with your hearing aids. That should be a good thing, right?
Getting your hearing assessed
Let’s take Daphne as an imaginary example. Daphne has been noticing some red flags associated with her hearing for some time now. Her TV volume is getting louder and louder. When she goes out after work to a noisy restaurant, she has difficulty following conversations. And so, she goes to have her hearing tested (because she’s intelligent and she takes care of herself).
Daphne makes certain to follow all of the instructions to manage her hearing impairment: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them precisely calibrated, and then gets back to her regular routine.
Issue solved? Well, yes and no. Going in for a screening allowed her to recognize her hearing loss early and that’s great. But, in the long run, follow-up care becomes even more important for individuals with even a small amount of hearing loss. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by keeping regular appointments. But Daphne isn’t alone in avoiding check-ups, according to one survey, just 33% of seniors using hearing aids also maintained regular hearing services.
If you already use hearing aids, why do you need regular hearing exams?
Remember when we used the glasses metaphor earlier? Daphne’s hearing won’t become static and stop changing just because she uses hearing aids. It’s necessary to adjust the hearing aids to counter those changes. Any hearing changes can be discovered early with regular monitoring.
And there are other reasons for having routine hearing exams once you get hearing aids. Here are a few of the most important reasons:
- Your fit may change: It’s possible that there will be a shift in how your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Making sure your hearing aids continue to fit properly is a significant part of your regular exam.
- 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 realize it’s happening without the help of a hearing screening. Hearing decline can frequently be slowed by correctly fine-tuning your hearing aids.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your overall hearing health might remain stable, small changes in your hearing might create the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids may slowly become less and less useful.
Dangers and roadblocks
The issue is, Daphne could, in her frustration, quit using her hearing aids altogether because they’re not working correctly. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by wearing hearing aids. If you stop using them, not only can your hearing deteriorate faster, you may not detect it right away.
As far as achieving optimal performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, regular hearing exams are vital. Safeguard your hearing and make sure your hearing aids are effectively working by getting routine screenings.