Even if you have glasses (the kind you put on your face, not the kind you drink out of), you still see your eye doctor yearly, right? Because, as time passes, your eyes change. Nothing in your body is static, not your eyes and not, as it happens, your ears either. That’s why, even after you’ve purchased hearing aids, it’s imperative to continue to have your ears examined much like you would with your eyes.
Unfortunately, many individuals miss those routine check-ups. Maybe they’ve been too busy enjoying their lives to get back in to see the doctor. Or, it could be that your job has been stressful lately. Or perhaps you’ve simply decided to not go back in because you’re so satisfied with your hearing aids. That should be a good thing, right?
Getting your hearing examined
Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. For some time now, Daphne has noted some warning signs associated with her hearing. She keeps turning the TV up. When she goes out after work to a loud restaurant, she has difficulty following discussions. And because she enjoys taking care of herself, and she’s intelligent, she schedules a hearing assessment.
Daphne makes certain to follow all of the instructions to manage her hearing impairment: she buys hearing aids, which are then properly fitted and calibrated, and then she gets on with her life.
Problem solved? Well, maybe not entirely. It’s great that Daphne went in for a hearing test and caught her hearing problems early. But for most people with hearing loss, even a small one, follow-up care becomes even more vital in the long run. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by keeping routine appointments. However, one study revealed that only around 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids get regular check-ups so Daphne isn’t by herself.
If you already use hearing aids, why do you need regular hearing exams?
Remember when we used the glasses metaphor earlier? Just because Daphne uses hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become fixed and stop changing. It’s necessary to fine-tune the hearing aids to deal with those changes. Any hearing changes can be detected early with routine monitoring.
And that’s not even the only reason why it may be a good idea to keep routine appointments once you get your hearing aids. Some of the most prevailing reasons to make sure you make it to your next appointment include:
- 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 big part of your regular exam.
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing could continue to deteriorate even if you use hearing aids. Often, this degeneration of your hearing is quite slow and without routine screenings, you probably won’t even notice it. Hearing decline can frequently be slowed by properly fine-tuning your hearing aids.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in small ways, and while your general 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 useful.
Dangers and hurdles
The problem is, Daphne could, in her frustration, quit using her hearing aids entirely because they’re not working properly. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by wearing hearing aids. If you stop wearing them, not only can your hearing diminish faster, you may not notice it right away.
If you want your hearing aids to continue working at an optimal level, regular check-ups are going to be your best bet in terms of attaining that. Protect your hearing and make sure your hearing aids are properly working by getting routine screenings.