The Annual Visit You Probably Neglected to Schedule

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

You will still visit your eye doctor yearly even if you already wear eyeglasses. Because your eyes change as time passes. Similar to the rest of your body, your eyes aren’t fixed and neither are your ears. That’s why, just as it is with your eyes, it’s crucial to keep having your ears examined even after you’ve purchased a quality pair of hearing aids.

Unfortunately, many individuals skip those regular check-ups. 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 perhaps, you’ve just been so pleased with your hearing aids that you haven’t had a reason to go back in. That’s a good thing, right?

Scheduling a hearing exam

Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. Daphne has been noticing some red flags associated with her hearing for a while now. Her TV volume is getting louder and louder. She has problems following discussions at after-work happy hours in noisy restaurants. And so, she goes in to have her hearing checked (because she’s intelligent and she takes care of herself).

After getting her hearing checked, Daphne does everything she’s supposed to: she gets fitted for new hearing aids and has them correctly calibrated, and then gets back to her normal routine.

Problem solved? Well, maybe not entirely. Going in for an exam allowed her to catch her hearing loss early and that’s excellent. But, in the long run, follow-up care becomes even more significant for individuals with even minor hearing loss. Maintaining regular 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 by herself.

If you already use hearing aids, why do you need regular hearing exams?

Okay, remember our glasses metaphor? Daphne’s hearing won’t become fixed and stop changing just because she uses hearing aids. Her hearing aids will have to be fine-tuned to counter those changes. Routine testing helps track any changes in hearing and catch problems early.

And that isn’t even the only reason why it might be a good idea to keep regular appointments once you have your hearing aids. Some of the most prevailing reasons to ensure you get to your next check-up include:

  • Hearing degeneration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing may keep deteriorating. If this degeneration is slow enough, you probably won’t notice it’s happening without the aid of a hearing test. Proper alterations to your hearing aids can often slow hearing declines.
  • Hearing aid calibration: While your general hearing health might continue to be stable, small changes in your hearing might produce the need for annual calibration of your hearing aid. Without this calibration, your hearing aids may slowly become less and less effective.
  • Your fit may change: Because your hearing is always changing, it’s quite possible that how your hearing aids fit inside of your ears will change. Routine check-ups can help ensure that your hearing aids keep fitting the way they’re designed to.

Dangers and roadblocks

The problem is, Daphne may, in her frustration, stop using her hearing aids altogether because they’re not functioning correctly. Wearing hearing aids helps slow down hearing loss over time. 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, regular exams are going to be your best option in terms of achieving that. Yearly hearing tests or screenings can help you ensure your hearing aids are functioning as they should and that your hearing stays protected.

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.