Even if you use glasses (the kind you put on your face, not the kind you drink out of), you still see your eye doctor once a year, right? Because your eyes change as time passes. Nothing in your body is fixed, not your eyes and not, it turns out, your ears either. That’s why, just as it is with your eyes, it’s essential to keep getting your ears assessed even after you’ve purchased a nice 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 difficult this year. Or perhaps you’ve simply decided not to go back in because you’re so happy with your hearing aids. It seems as if that would be good, right?
Scheduling a hearing assessment
Let’s take Daphne as an imaginary example. For quite a while, Daphne has detected some warning signs with her hearing. She keeps increasing the volume on her TV. She has problems following conversations at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And so, she goes to get her hearing checked (because she’s intelligent and she takes care of herself).
After having her hearing tested, Daphne does everything she’s supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them precisely calibrated, and then goes back to her normal routine.
Issue solved? Well, not quite. It’s fantastic that Daphne went in for a hearing screening and discovered her hearing issues early. 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 going to routine appointments. But Daphne isn’t alone in avoiding check-ups, according to one study, just 33% of seniors using hearing aids also scheduled regular hearing services.
Why do you need check-ups once you get hearing aids?
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. Her hearing aids will have to be fine-tuned to counter those changes. Any hearing changes can be recognized early with regular monitoring.
And there are other benefits to having routine hearing assessments once you get hearing aids. Here are a few of the most significant reasons:
- Hearing degeneration: Your hearing could continue to worsen even if you have hearing aids. If this deterioration is slow enough, you probably won’t recognize it’s happening without the aid of a hearing screening. Correct alterations to your hearing aids can often slow hearing loss.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your general hearing health might continue to be stable, slight changes in your hearing might produce the need for yearly calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less useful.
- 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. Routine check-ups can help ensure that your hearing aids continue to fit the way they’re designed to.
Hazards and roadblocks
The ultimate problem here is that eventually, the hearing aids Daphne is wearing will quit working the way they’re supposed to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop wearing them entirely. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by wearing hearing aids. Your hearing will decline faster if you quit wearing your hearing aids and you probably won’t even notice it.
If you want your hearing aids to continue working at an optimal level, routine check-ups are going to be your best option in terms of achieving that. Annual hearing exams or screenings can help you make sure your hearing aids are functioning as they should and that your hearing remains protected.