You will still see your eye doctor every year even if you already use eyeglasses. Because, as time goes by, 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 purchased hearing aids, it’s imperative to continue to get your ears assessed much like you would with your eyes.
Unfortunately, many individuals skip those regular check-ups. Maybe they’ve been too occupied enjoying their lives to get back in to see your physician. Or perhaps, work has been especially hectic this year. Or maybe, you’ve just been so satisfied with your hearing aids that you haven’t felt the need to go back in. That should be a good thing, right?
Scheduling a hearing test
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. For some time now, Daphne has detected some symptoms connected to her hearing. Her TV volume is getting louder and louder. She has problems understanding discussions at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And so, she goes in to have her hearing assessed (because she’s intelligent and she takes care of herself).
After getting her hearing examined, Daphne does everything she’s supposed to: 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. Going in for an exam allowed her to catch her hearing loss early and that’s great. But for most individuals with hearing impairment, even a minor one, follow-up care becomes even more vital in the long run. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by going to routine appointments. However, one study found that only about 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids get regular check-ups so Daphne isn’t alone.
If you already have hearing aids, why do you need regular hearing exams?
Okay, remember our glasses metaphor? Daphne’s hearing won’t become static and stop changing just because she uses hearing aids. Her hearing aids will need to be adjusted to counter those changes. Regular testing helps monitor any changes in hearing and detect problems early.
And there are other benefits to having regular hearing exams after you get hearing aids. Here are some of the most important reasons:
- Hearing degeneration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing could keep deteriorating. If this deterioration is slow enough, you probably won’t realize it’s happening without the help of a hearing exam. Hearing decline can often be slowed by appropriately adjusting your hearing aids.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in slight ways, and while your general hearing may remain stable, these small changes could require you to get regular hearing tests. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less reliable.
- Your fit may change: Because your ears are always changing, it’s quite possible that how your hearing aids fit inside of your ears will shift. Regular hearing tests can help ensure that your hearing aids continue to fit the way they’re supposed to.
Hazards and hurdles
The problem is, Daphne could, in her frustration, stop using her hearing aids entirely because they’re not functioning correctly. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by using hearing aids. Your hearing will decline faster if you stop using your hearing aids and you most likely won’t even detect it.
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 achieving that. Yearly hearing tests or screenings can help you be sure your hearing aids are functioning as they should and that your hearing remains protected.