You will still visit your eye doctor annually even if you already use eyeglasses. Because, as time passes, your eyes change. Nothing in your body is fixed, not your eyes and not, as it happens, your ears either. That’s why, much like your eyes, it’s essential to keep having your ears examined even after you’ve purchased a quality pair of hearing aids.
Many people, regrettably, miss those yearly appointments. Maybe they’ve been too occupied enjoying their lives to get back in to see your physician. 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 satisfied with your hearing aids. That’s a good thing, right?
Scheduling a hearing exam
Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. Daphne has been detecting some red flags related to her hearing for some time now. She keeps turning the TV up. When she goes out after work to a loud restaurant, she has a hard time following discussions. And because she likes to take care of herself, and she’s intelligent, she schedules a hearing exam.
After getting her hearing checked, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them properly calibrated, and then goes back to her normal routine.
Issue solved? Well, not quite. Going in for a screening allowed her to recognize her hearing loss early and that’s excellent. But for most people 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 keeping regular appointments. However, one study revealed that only about 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids get routine check-ups so Daphne isn’t alone.
If you already use hearing aids, why do you need regular hearing exams?
Okay, remember our glasses metaphor? Just because Daphne has hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become fixed and stop changing. It’s necessary to adjust the hearing aids to deal with those changes. Any hearing changes can be recognized early with regular monitoring.
And there are other benefits to having routine hearing exams once you get hearing aids. Here are a few of the most significant reasons:
- Hearing aid calibration: While your overall hearing health may continue to be stable, slight changes in your hearing may create the need for yearly calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less effective.
- Your fit may change: Because your ears are always changing, it’s quite possible that the way your hearing aids fit inside of your ears will change. Making certain your hearing aids continue to fit properly is a big part of your regular exam.
- Hearing deterioration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing could continue to deteriorate. If this degeneration is slow enough, you most likely won’t realize it’s happening without the assistance of a hearing exam. Correct alterations to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing declines.
Dangers and roadblocks
The issue is, Daphne may, in her frustration, stop using her hearing aids altogether because they’re not functioning properly. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by using hearing aids. If you stop wearing them, not only can your hearing deteriorate faster, you might not notice it right away.
In terms of achieving optimal performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, routine hearing assessments are essential. Protect your hearing and ensure your hearing aids are effectively working by having regular screenings.