Even if you use glasses (the type you put on your face, not the kind you drink out of), you still visit your eye doctor yearly, right? Because, as time passes, your eyes change. Similar to the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t fixed and neither are your ears. That’s why, much like your eyes, it’s crucial to keep having your ears assessed even after you’ve invested in a nice pair of hearing aids.
Many people, unfortunately, miss those annual appointments. Perhaps a visit to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. 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 test
Let’s use Daphne as our fictional stand-in. For some time now, Daphne has detected 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 trouble following conversations. And so, she goes to get her hearing checked (because she’s smart and she takes care of herself).
Daphne makes sure to follow all of the steps to manage her hearing impairment: she purchases 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 test and caught her hearing issues early. But for most individuals with hearing impairment, even a small one, follow-up care becomes even more important in the long run. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by going to routine appointments. But Daphne’s not alone in avoiding check-ups, based on one survey, only 33% of seniors using hearing aids also maintained regular hearing services.
If you already have 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 essential to fine-tune the hearing aids to counter those changes. Regular testing helps keep track of any changes in hearing and catch issues early.
And there are other benefits to getting regular hearing assessments after you get hearing aids. Here are a few of the most important reasons:
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing may continue to worsen even if you use hearing aids. If this deterioration is slow enough, you probably won’t realize it’s happening without the aid of a hearing exam. Proper alterations to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing loss.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in small ways, and while your overall hearing may remain stable, these slight changes may require you to get regular hearing assessments. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less effective.
- Your fit may change: Because your hearing is always changing, it’s very possible that the way your hearing aids fit inside of your ears will shift. Making sure your hearing aids continue to fit properly is a big part of your regular exam.
Hazards and roadblocks
The issue is, Daphne may, 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. Your hearing will decline faster if you quit using your hearing aids and you most likely won’t even notice it.
If you want your hearing aids to continue working at an optimal level, routine exams are going to be your best option in terms of attaining that. Protect your hearing and ensure your hearing aids are effectively working by getting routine screenings.