Coping with hearing loss can be a difficult adjustment for you and your loved ones. It can also come with some dangers.
What happens if a smoke detector is sounding or somebody is shouting out your name but you can’t hear them? If you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car sounds that could be signaling an approaching threat.
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. Here are some tips to help keep individuals with hearing aids and their loved ones safer whether or not they’re using their hearing aid.
1. Bring a friend with you when you go out
Bring somebody with healthy hearing out with you if possible. If that’s not possible, request that people face you when speaking to you so that you will have an easier time hearing them.
2. Avoid distractions while driving
It’s important to stay focused when you’re driving because you can’t rely on your hearing as much for cues. Pull over if you need to plot a route and avoid your GPS and phone. If you think you have a problem with your hearing aid, come see us before getting behind the wheel.
Don’t feel embarrassed if you have to turn off the radio or ask passengers to stop talking during more decisive moments of your drive. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Think about getting a service dog
You think of service animals as helpful for those with visual impairment, epilepsy, or other conditions. But if you’re dealing with auditory challenges, they can also be really helpful. A service dog can be trained to alert you to danger. They can inform you when somebody is at your door.
They can help you with your hearing problems and they are also excellent companions.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency happens, make a plan. Talk it over it with other people. For instance, make sure your family knows that you will be in the basement in the case of a tornado. In case of a fire, choose a designated place that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, emergency workers, and your family will know where you will be if something were to happen.
5. Adjust yourself to visual cues while driving
Your hearing loss has probably gotten worse over time. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly fine-tuned, you may find yourself depending more on your eyes. You might not hear sirens so watch out for flashing lights. Be extra attentive when pedestrians are around.
6. Share your limitations with family and friends
Nobody wants to admit that they have hearing impairment, but people in your life need to know. They can alert you to something you might not hear so that you can get to safety. If they’re not aware that you can’t hear, they will assume that you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
As somebody living with hearing loss, you might not be able to hear strange thumps, clicks, or screeches when you drive. These can indicate a serious issue. Your car could take serious damage and your safety could be in danger if these noises aren’t addressed. It’s a good idea to ask a trusted mechanic for their opinion on the condition of your vehicle when you take it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Address your hearing loss
This is the most imperative thing you can do to stay safe. In order to identify if you need to get a hearing aid, get your hearing examined yearly. Don’t delay because of time constraints, money, or pride. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and surprisingly affordable. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in all aspects of your life.