The Annual Visit You Probably Neglected to Schedule

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

Even if you use glasses (the kind you put on your face, not the kind you drink out of), you still see 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, much like your eyes, it’s essential to keep getting your ears examined even after you’ve purchased a nice pair of hearing aids.

Many individuals, regrettably, neglect those annual appointments. Perhaps they’ve been too occupied enjoying their lives to get back in to see the doctor. Or maybe, work has been particularly stressful this year. Or maybe, you’ve just been so satisfied with your hearing aids that you haven’t felt the need to go back in. That should be a good thing, right?

Scheduling a hearing assessment

Let’s use Daphne as our imaginary stand-in. Daphne has been observing some red flags with her hearing for some time now. She keeps turning the TV up. She has difficulty understanding discussions at after-work happy hours in noisy restaurants. And so, she goes in to get her hearing checked (because she’s smart and she takes care of herself).

Daphne makes certain to follow all of the instructions to manage her hearing impairment: she purchases hearing aids, which are then correctly fitted and calibrated, and then she goes on with her life.

Problem solved? Well, maybe not completely. It’s great that Daphne went in for a hearing screening and caught her hearing problems early. But for most individuals with hearing loss, even a minor one, follow-up care becomes even more significant in the long run. Maintaining regular appointments would be a wise plan for Daphne. But Daphne isn’t alone in neglected check-ups, according to one study, only 33% of seniors using hearing aids also maintained routine hearing services.

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

Alright, remember our glasses metaphor? Just because Daphne uses hearing aids now doesn’t mean her hearing will become fixed and stop changing. It’s necessary to fine-tune the hearing aids to deal with those changes. Any hearing changes can be discovered early with routine monitoring.

And there are other benefits to having routine hearing exams after you get hearing aids. Here are a few of the most significant reasons:

  • Your fit may change: It’s likely that there will be a change in how your hearing aids fit as your ears are always changing. Making certain your hearing aids continue to fit well is a significant 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 assessments. Without this calibration, your hearing aids could slowly become less and less effective.
  • Hearing degeneration: Even with a hearing aid, your hearing may keep deteriorating. If this degeneration is slow enough, you probably won’t recognize it’s happening without the assistance of a hearing screening. Hearing loss can frequently be slowed by appropriately fine-tuning your hearing aids.

Hazards and hurdles

The ultimate challenge here is that eventually, the hearing aids Daphne is using will quit working the way they’re meant to, so she’ll get frustrated with them and stop wearing them altogether. Wearing hearing aids helps slow hearing loss over time. If you quit wearing them, not only can your hearing deteriorate faster, you may not notice it right away.

When it comes to achieving efficient performance of your hearing aids, and optimal hearing, routine hearing assessments are vital. Yearly hearing assessments or screenings can help you ensure your hearing aids are working 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.