Even if you use glasses (the type you put on your face, not the kind you drink out of), you still see your eye doctor once a year, right? 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, just as it is with your eyes, it’s essential to keep having your ears examined even after you’ve purchased a quality pair of hearing aids.
Regrettably, many people skip those regular check-ups. Maybe they’ve been too occupied enjoying their lives to get back in to see the doctor. Or, it might be that your job has been hectic lately. Or perhaps you’ve simply decided not to go back in because you’re so pleased with your hearing aids. It seems like that would be good, right?
Getting your hearing examined
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. Daphne has been noticing some red flags with her hearing for some time now. She keeps turning the TV up. She has problems understanding conversations at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And because she enjoys taking care of herself, and she’s smart, she schedules a hearing test.
After having her hearing tested, Daphne does everything she’s supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them properly calibrated, and then gets back to her regular routine.
Problem solved? Well, maybe not completely. 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 minor one, follow-up care becomes almost more vital in the long run. Maintaining regular appointments would be a wise idea for Daphne. But Daphne isn’t alone in neglected check-ups, based on one survey, only 33% of senior citizens using hearing aids also maintained regular hearing services.
If you already have hearing aids, why do you need check-ups?
Alright, remember our glasses metaphor? Daphne’s hearing won’t become fixed and stop changing just because she uses hearing aids. It’s essential to fine-tune the hearing aids to counter those changes. Routine testing helps track any changes in hearing and catch problems early.
And that’s not even the only reason why it may be a smart idea to keep regular appointments after you have your hearing aids. Some of the most prevailing reasons to ensure you get to your next check-up include:
- Hearing aid calibration: While your general hearing health might remain stable, slight changes in your hearing might produce the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less effective.
- Hearing deterioration: Your hearing could continue to worsen even if you use hearing aids. If this deterioration is slow enough, you most likely won’t realize it’s happening without the aid of a hearing exam. Correct adjustments to your hearing aids can often slow hearing declines.
- Your fit may change: It’s possible that there will be a change in how your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Regular check-ups can help ensure that your hearing aids continue to fit the way they’re designed to.
Dangers and roadblocks
The greatest challenge here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is wearing will stop working the way they’re supposed to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop wearing them entirely. Wearing hearing aids helps slow down hearing loss over time. Your hearing will decline faster if you quit using your hearing aids and you most likely won’t even notice it.
In terms of achieving optimal performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, regular hearing assessments are vital. Annual hearing assessments or screenings can help you make sure your hearing aids are working as they should and that your hearing stays protected.