Even if you use glasses (the type you put on your face, not the kind you fill with liquid), you still visit your eye doctor annually, right? Because your eyes change as time passes. Like the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t fixed and neither are your ears. That’s why, much like your eyes, it’s essential to keep having your ears checked even after you’ve purchased a nice pair of hearing aids.
Unfortunately, many individuals miss those routine check-ups. Maybe a visit to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or, it may be that your job has been hectic lately. Or perhaps you’ve just decided not to go back in because you’re so satisfied with your hearing aids. It seems like that would be good, right?
Getting your hearing checked
Let’s use Daphne as our fictional stand-in. Daphne has been observing some red flags related to her hearing for some time now. She keeps turning the TV up. She has difficulty following discussions 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 exam.
After having 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.
Issue solved? Well, maybe not completely. Going in for a screening allowed her to catch her hearing loss early and that’s excellent. But, in the long run, follow-up care becomes almost more important for people with even a small amount of hearing loss. Maintaining routine appointments would be a wise plan for Daphne. However, one study found that only about 33% of seniors with hearing aids get regular check-ups so Daphne isn’t alone.
If you already have hearing aids, why do you need check-ups?
Remember when we used the glasses metaphor earlier? Daphne’s hearing won’t become fixed and stop changing just because she has hearing aids. It’s necessary to adjust the hearing aids to deal with those changes. Any hearing changes can be recognized early with routine monitoring.
And that’s not even the only reason why it may be a smart idea to keep regular appointments after you get your hearing aids. Here are a few of the most important reasons:
- Your fit may change: Because your hearing is always changing, it’s entirely possible that the way your hearing aids fit around and in your ears will change. Making certain your hearing aids continue to fit well is a significant part of your regular check-ups.
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in small ways, and while your overall hearing may remain consistent, these slight changes may require you to get regular hearing assessments. Your hearing aid may become less and less effective if you skip this calibration.
- Hearing degeneration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing may continue to deteriorate. Frequently, this degeneration of your hearing is quite gradual and without regular examinations, you probably won’t even detect it. Correct alterations to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing loss.
Hazards and roadblocks
The ultimate challenge here is that eventually, the hearing aids Daphne is using will quit working the way they’re intended to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop using them entirely. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by using hearing aids. Your hearing will decline faster if you quit 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, routine check-ups are going to be your best option in terms of attaining that. Protect your hearing and ensure your hearing aids are properly working by having routine screenings.