Even if you have glasses (the kind you put on your face, not the kind you fill with liquid), you still see your eye doctor yearly, right? Because your eyes change over time. Like the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t static and neither are your ears. That’s why, much like your eyes, it’s crucial to keep getting your ears checked even after you’ve invested in a quality pair of hearing aids.
Unfortunately, many individuals miss those regular check-ups. Maybe a trip to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or, it may 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’s a good thing, right?
Getting your hearing examined
Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. Daphne has been detecting some red flags related to her hearing for a while now. She keeps turning the TV up. She has difficulty following conversations at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And so, she goes to have her hearing checked (because she’s intelligent and she takes care of herself).
Daphne makes sure to follow all of the steps to manage her hearing impairment: she buys hearing aids, which are then precisely fitted and calibrated, and then she gets on with her life.
Issue solved? Well, maybe not completely. It’s great that Daphne went in for a hearing test and caught her hearing issues early. But for most individuals with hearing impairment, even a minor one, follow-up care becomes almost more vital in the long run. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by maintaining routine appointments. However, one study found that only around 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids get routine check-ups so Daphne isn’t by herself.
If you already have hearing aids, why do you need check-ups?
Okay, remember our glasses metaphor? Daphne’s hearing won’t become fixed and stop changing just because she has hearing aids. It’s important to fine-tune the hearing aids to deal with those changes. Any hearing changes can be detected early with routine monitoring.
And that isn’t even the only reason why it may be a good idea to keep regular appointments after you get your hearing aids. Some of the most common reasons to make sure you get to your next check-up include:
- Hearing degeneration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing could keep deteriorating. If this degeneration is slow enough, you probably won’t notice it’s happening without the aid of a hearing test. Correct alterations to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing declines.
- Your fit may change: It’s likely that there will be a shift in how your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Making certain your hearing aids continue to fit properly is a big part of your regular check-ups.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in small ways, and while your general hearing may remain consistent, these small changes may require you to get regular hearing tests. Your hearing aid may become less and less reliable if you avoid this calibration.
Dangers and roadblocks
The ultimate problem here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is wearing will quit working the way they’re meant to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop wearing them altogether. Wearing hearing aids helps slow hearing loss over time. If you quit wearing 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 check-ups are going to be your best bet in terms of achieving that. Annual hearing tests or screenings can help you make sure your hearing aids are working as they should and that your hearing stays protected.