Even if you use 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 as time passes. Nothing in your body is fixed, not your eyes and not, it turns out, your ears either. That’s why, even after you’ve invested in hearing aids, it’s imperative to consistently have your ears checked just like you would with your eyes.
Unfortunately, many individuals skip those routine check-ups. Maybe they’ve been too busy enjoying their lives to get back in to see your physician. Or maybe, work has been especially difficult this year. Or maybe, you’ve just been so happy with your hearing aids that you haven’t felt the need to go back in. That should be a good thing, right?
Getting your hearing checked
Let’s take Daphne as a fictional example. For quite a while, Daphne has noted some symptoms with her hearing. Her TV volume continues to get louder. She has problems following conversations at after-work happy hours in loud restaurants. And so, she goes in to have her hearing tested (because she’s intelligent and she takes care of herself).
After having her hearing examined, Daphne does everything she’s supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them precisely calibrated, and then gets back to her regular routine.
Issue solved? Well, maybe not entirely. It’s fantastic that Daphne went in for a hearing test and caught her hearing issues early. But for most individuals with hearing impairment, even a small one, follow-up care becomes even more vital in the long run. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by keeping routine appointments. But Daphne isn’t alone in bypassing check-ups, according to one study, only 33% of senior citizens with hearing aids also maintained regular hearing services.
If you already use hearing aids, why do you need check-ups?
Remember when we used the glasses metaphor earlier? Daphne’s hearing won’t become static and stop changing just because she uses hearing aids. Her hearing aids will have to be adjusted to counter those changes. Any hearing changes can be recognized early with regular monitoring.
And that’s not even the only reason why it may be a smart idea to keep regular appointments once you have your hearing aids. Some of the most common reasons to make sure you get to your next check-up include:
- Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in small ways, and while your general hearing may remain consistent, these slight changes may require you to get regular hearing tests. Your hearing aid could become less and less reliable if you avoid this calibration.
- Your fit may change: Because your hearing is always changing, it’s quite possible that how your hearing aids fit around and in your ears will change. Making sure your hearing aids continue to fit properly is a big part of your regular exam.
- Hearing deterioration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing may continue to deteriorate. If this deterioration is slow enough, you most likely won’t notice it’s happening without the help of a hearing screening. Hearing decline can frequently be slowed by properly fine-tuning your hearing aids.
Dangers and hurdles
The problem is, Daphne may, in her frustration, quit using her hearing aids altogether because they’re not functioning properly. Over time, hearing loss can be slowed by using hearing aids. If you quit using them, not only can your hearing deteriorate faster, you might not detect it right away.
If you want your hearing aids to keep working at an optimal level, routine exams are going to be your best option in terms of achieving that. Safeguard your hearing and ensure your hearing aids are properly working by having routine screenings.