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Woman with her schedule open calling to make an appointment for a hearing test.

You will still visit your eye doctor annually even if you already wear eyeglasses. 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 purchased hearing aids, it’s imperative to consistently get your ears examined much like you would with your eyes.

Many individuals, unfortunately, neglect those yearly appointments. Perhaps they’ve been too busy enjoying their lives to get back in to see your physician. Or, it could be that your job has been difficult lately. Or maybe, you’ve just been so pleased with your hearing aids that you haven’t had a reason to go back in. It seems as if that would be good, right?

Scheduling a hearing exam

Let’s take Daphne as an imaginary example. Daphne has been detecting some red flags with her hearing for some time now. She keeps increasing the volume on her TV. When she goes out after work to a noisy restaurant, she has difficulty following conversations. And so, she goes in to get her hearing assessed (because she’s smart and she takes care of herself).

After having her hearing assessed, Daphne does everything she’s supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them precisely calibrated, and then goes back to her normal routine.

Problem solved? Well, not quite. It’s great that Daphne went in for a hearing exam and caught her hearing problems early. But, in the long run, follow-up care becomes almost more important for people with even a small amount of hearing loss. Daphne would be doing herself a favor by going to regular appointments. But Daphne isn’t alone in neglected check-ups, according to one study, only 33% of seniors using hearing aids also scheduled 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 fixed and stop changing just because she has hearing aids. It’s important to fine-tune the hearing aids to counter those changes. Regular testing helps monitor any changes in hearing and detect issues early.

And there are other reasons for having regular hearing assessments once you get hearing aids. Some of the most prevailing reasons to make sure you make it to your next check-up include:

  • Hearing deterioration: Your hearing may continue to deteriorate even if you use hearing aids. Often, this degeneration of your hearing is quite slow and without regular screenings, you probably won’t even recognize it. Hearing loss can often be slowed by appropriately adjusting your hearing aids.
  • Your fit may change: It’s possible that there will be a change in the way 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 exam.
  • Hearing aid calibration: Your hearing changes in small ways, and while your general hearing may remain consistent, these slight changes could require you to get regular hearing examinations. Your hearing aid could become less and less reliable if you avoid this calibration.

Hazards and roadblocks

The issue is, Daphne may, in her frustration, stop using her hearing aids entirely because they’re not functioning properly. Using hearing aids helps slow down hearing loss over time. If you stop wearing them, not only can your hearing diminish faster, you might not detect it right away.

As far as attaining optimal performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, routine hearing assessments are vital. Annual hearing exams or screenings can help you ensure your hearing aids are functioning as they should and that your hearing remains protected.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.