Even if you have glasses (the type you put on your face, not the kind you drink out of), you still visit your eye doctor once a year, right? Because your eyes change over time. Nothing in your body is fixed, not your eyes and not, it turns out, your ears either. That’s why, even after you’ve purchased hearing aids, it’s important to consistently have your ears examined just like you would with your eyes.
Unfortunately, many people skip those routine check-ups. Perhaps a trip to their doctor is taking a back seat to enjoying life. Or, it might be that your job has been difficult lately. Or perhaps you’ve simply decided not to go back in because you’re so satisfied with your hearing aids. It seems as if that would be good, right?
Getting your hearing assessed
Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. Daphne has been noticing some red flags with her hearing for some time now. She keeps turning the TV up. She has problems following discussions at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And because she enjoys taking care of herself, and she’s intelligent, she schedules a hearing assessment.
After getting her hearing assessed, Daphne does everything she is supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them precisely calibrated, and then gets back to her normal routine.
Problem solved? Well, yes and no. Going in for a screening allowed her to recognize her hearing loss early and that’s great. But, over time, follow-up care becomes even more important for people with even minor hearing loss. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by keeping routine appointments. However, one study revealed that only around 33% of seniors with hearing aids get regular check-ups so Daphne isn’t by herself.
Why do you need check-ups after you get hearing aids?
Alright, remember our glasses metaphor? Just because Daphne uses hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become fixed and stop changing. Her hearing aids will need to be adjusted to counter those changes. Any hearing changes can be detected early with routine monitoring.
And that’s not even the only reason why it might be a good idea to keep regular appointments after you have your hearing aids. Some of the most common reasons to ensure you get to your next check-up include:
- Your fit may change: It’s possible that there will be a shift in the way your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Making certain your hearing aids continue to fit well is a big part of your regular exam.
- Hearing deterioration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing could keep deteriorating. If this deterioration is slow enough, you most likely won’t recognize it’s happening without the assistance of a hearing screening. Correct alterations to your hearing aids can frequently slow hearing loss.
- Hearing aid calibration: While your overall hearing health may remain stable, slight changes in your hearing might produce the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Your hearing aid could become less and less efficient if you skip this calibration.
Hazards and hurdles
The main problem here is that sooner or later, the hearing aids Daphne is wearing will quit working the way they’re intended to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop using them altogether. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by wearing hearing aids. If you quit using them, not only can your hearing deteriorate faster, you may not detect it right away.
In terms of attaining efficient performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, routine hearing assessments are essential. Annual hearing tests or screenings can help you make sure your hearing aids are working as they should and that your hearing remains protected.