For you and the people in your life, living with hearing loss can take some work to adjust to. It can also come with some hazards.
What happens if a smoke detector is sounding or somebody is yelling out your name but you’re unable to hear them? If you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car sounds that could be signaling an impending hazard.
Don’t stress yourself out over the “what ifs”. If you have untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing test is the first thing you need to do. For people who use hearing aids, we have some tips to help you and your family remain safe, even when you’re not likely to be using your hearing aids.
1. Bring a friend with you when you leave the house
If possible, bring someone with you who isn’t dealing with hearing loss. If that isn’t possible, request that people face you when speaking to you so they are easier to hear.
2. Avoid distractions when you’re driving
It’s important to remain focused while driving because you can’t rely on your hearing as much for cues. Don’t use your phone or GPS when you’re driving, just pull over if you need to change your route. If you think you have a problem with your hearing aid, come see us before getting behind the wheel.
If there are times while you’re driving that you may need to have your passengers quiet down or turn off the radio, there’s no shame. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Think about getting a service dog
You think of service dogs as helpful for people with loss of vision, epilepsy, or other conditions. But they can also be really helpful to those who have auditory issues. You can be warned about danger by a service dog. When someone is at your door they can let you know.
Not only can they help with these problems, but they also make a wonderful companion.
4. Make a plan
Before an emergency happens, prepare a plan. Discuss it with other people. If you’re planning to move into the basement during a tornado, be certain your family knows where they’ll find you. In case of a fire, choose a delegated spot that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, emergency personnel, and your family will know where you will be if something were to happen.
5. Pay extra attention to visual clues while driving
Your hearing loss has most likely gotten worse over time. You might need to depend on your eyes more if you don’t routinely get your hearing aids tuned. Be aware of flashing lights on the road since you might not hear sirens. When kids or pedestrians are nearby, stay extra attentive.
6. Share your hearing trouble with family and friends
Nobody wants to disclose that they have hearing impairment, but people close to you need to know. You might need to get to safety and people around you will be able to make you aware of something you might have missed. They probably won’t bother alerting you if they think you hear it too.
7. Be diligent about the maintenance of your vehicle
Your car may begin making peculiar noises that your hearing loss stops you from detecting. These noises could point to a mechanical problem with your vehicle. Your car could take significant damage and your safety could be in danger if these sounds aren’t dealt with. It’s a good idea to ask a trustworthy mechanic for their opinion on the condition of your vehicle when you take it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Have your hearing loss treated
This is the most critical thing you can do to remain safe. Get your hearing checked yearly to determine when your hearing loss is extensive enough to require an assistive device. Don’t hesitate because of time constraints, money, or pride. Hearing aids nowadays are very functional, affordable, and discreet. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in many settings at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.