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. Like the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t static and neither are your ears. That’s why, even after you’ve invested in hearing aids, it’s imperative to consistently have your ears checked just like you would with your eyes.
Unfortunately, many people skip those routine check-ups. Perhaps a visit 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 pleased 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 tested
Let’s take Daphne as an imaginary example. Daphne has been noticing some red flags associated with her hearing for a while now. Her TV volume continues to get louder. She has difficulty following conversations at after-work happy hours in noisy restaurants. And because she likes to take care of herself, and she’s smart, she schedules a hearing test.
After having her hearing tested, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them properly 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, over time, follow-up care becomes even more important for individuals with even minor hearing loss. Keeping up on regular appointments would be a wise plan for Daphne. But Daphne isn’t alone in neglected check-ups, according to one survey, just 33% of seniors using hearing aids also maintained regular hearing services.
Why do you need check-ups after you have hearing aids?
Alright, remember our glasses metaphor? Just because Daphne uses hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become fixed and stop changing. Her hearing aids will have to be adjusted to counter those changes. Any hearing changes can be recognized early with periodic monitoring.
And that’s not even the only reason why it may be a smart idea to keep routine appointments once you have your hearing aids. Some of the most prevailing reasons to ensure you make it to your next appointment include:
- Hearing deterioration: Your hearing could continue to worsen even if you use hearing aids. Frequently, this degeneration of your hearing is quite gradual and without routine screenings, you most likely won’t even detect it. Hearing decline can often be slowed by properly adjusting your hearing aids.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in slight ways, and while your overall hearing may remain consistent, these small changes could require you to get regular hearing examinations. Without this calibration, your hearing aids may slowly become less and less reliable.
- 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. Routine check-ups can help guarantee that your hearing aids continue to fit the way they’re supposed to.
Hazards and hurdles
The greatest problem here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is wearing will stop working the way they’re meant to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop wearing them entirely. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by using hearing aids. If you quit using them, not only can your hearing deteriorate faster, you may not notice it right away.
If you want your hearing aids to continue working at an optimal level, routine exams are going to be your best bet in terms of attaining that. Safeguard your hearing and ensure your hearing aids are properly working by getting routine screenings.