Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? There’s the kind where you jam every single activity you can into every waking moment. These are the vacations that are remembered for years later and are full of adventure, and you go back to work more worn out than you left.
Then there are the relaxing kinds of vacations. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Maybe you drink a bit of wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or perhaps you’re getting pampered at some resort for your whole vacation. These kinds of vacations will leave you quite rested and recharged.
There’s no right or wrong way to vacation. Whichever method you choose, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation in jeopardy.
Your vacation can be spoiled by hearing loss
There are a few unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more challenging, particularly if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Look, hearing loss can sneak up on you like nobody’s business, many individuals have no clue they have it. The volume on all their devices just continues going up and up.
But the effect that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be minimized with some tried and tested methods, and that’s the good news. The first move, of course, will be to make an appointment for a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The more ready you are before you go, the easier it will be to lessen any power hearing loss could have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.
How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss
So how can hearing loss negatively impact your next vacation? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. And while some of them might seem a bit insignificant at first, they have a tendency to add up! Some common illustrations include the following:
- Essential notices come in but you frequently miss them: Perhaps you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. This can throw your entire vacation timing into chaos.
- Special moments with friends and family can be missed: Everybody loved the funny joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. Important and enriching conversations can be missed when you have untreated hearing loss.
- Getting past language barriers can be frustrating: It’s difficult enough to overcome a language barrier. But understanding voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s very noisy, makes it much more difficult.
- The radiant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather dull when everything you hear is dull. After all, your favorite vacation place is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.
A number of these negative outcomes can be prevented by simply wearing your hearing aids. Which means the proper way to keep your vacation on track and stress free is to manage your hearing needs before you go.
How to prepare for your vacation when you have hearing loss
That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on vacation if you have hearing loss. That’s nowhere near true! But it does mean that, when you have hearing loss, a little bit of added planning and preparation, can help make sure your vacation goes as easily as possible. Whether you have hearing loss or not, this is obviously good travel advice.
You can be sure that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are a number of things you can do:
- Clean your hearing aids: It’s a good plan to make sure your hearing aids are clean and functioning properly before you jump on a plane, train, or automobile. This can help prevent issues from developing while you’re on your vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their regular maintenance is also a smart plan.
- Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids quit on the first day is the worst! Always make sure you bring spares! Now, you may be thinking: can I bring spare batteries in my luggage? Well, possibly, check with your airline. Some kinds of batteries must be kept in your carry-on.
- Do some pre-planning: It’s okay to be spontaneous to some degree, but the more planning you do beforehand, the less you’ll need to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can present more difficulties).
Tips for traveling with hearing aids
Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the preparation and planning have been done! Or maybe it’s the airways. Many people have questions about going on a plane with hearing aids, and there are definitely some good things to know before you head to the airport.
- Is it ok to fly with hearing aids in? When they tell you it’s time to off your electronic devices, you won’t be required to turn your hearing aids off. But it’s a good idea to activate flight mode if your hearing aid relies heavily on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. Some of the in-flight announcements may be hard to hear so be certain that you tell the flight attendant about your hearing loss.
- When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I be required to remove my hearing aids? You won’t be required to take your hearing aids out for the security screening. Having said that, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good plan. Don’t ever allow your hearing aids to go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can generate a static charge that can damage your hearing aids.
- When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? That will depend, some airports are really noisy during certain times of the day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device installed throughout many areas. This device is specifically made to help individuals with hearing aids hear their environment better.
- How helpful is my smartphone? Your smartphone is extremely helpful, not shockingly. You can utilize your smartphone to get directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the right type of hearing aid, you can utilize your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. You might be able to take some strain off your ears if you can utilize your phone in this way.
- If I wear my hearing aids more than normal, is that ok? Hearing aids are designed to be used every day, all day. So you should be using your hearing aids whenever you’re not in a really loud setting, swimming, or showering.
- Should I be aware of my rights? Before you leave it’s never a bad idea to become familiar with your rights. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have lots of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Basically, you must have access to information. So if you feel like you’re missing out on some info, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they will most likely offer help.
Vacations are one of life’s many adventures
Whether you have loss of hearing or not, vacations are unpredictable. Not everything is going to go the way you planned it all the time. That’s why it’s important to have a good attitude and manage your vacation like you’re taking on the unanticipated.
That way, when something unforeseen occurs (and it will), it’ll feel like it’s all part of the plan!
But you will be caught off guard less if you make good preparations. With the right preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a catastrophe.
For people with hearing loss, this preparation often begins by getting your hearing assessed and making sure you have the equipment and care you need. And that’s accurate whether you’re going to every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or hanging out on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).
Still have some questions or concerns? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing exam!