Have a Safe And Enjoyable Vacation Even if You Have Hearing Loss

Senior couple with hearing loss watching photos from travel on digital camera during vacation

Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? There’s the kind where you cram every single recreation you can into every waking moment. These are the vacations that are recalled for years later and are full of adventure, and you head back to work more worn out than you left.

The other kind is all about unwinding. You might not even do much of anything on this kind of vacation. Perhaps you drink some wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or possibly you spend your entire vacation at some kind of resort, getting pampered the entire time. These are the restful and relaxing kinds of vacations.

Everybody has their own concept of the perfect vacation. But neglected hearing loss can jeopardize whichever type of vacation you take.

Hearing loss can spoil a vacation

Your vacation can become a challenge if you have hearing loss, especially if you don’t know you have it. Look, hearing loss can creep up on you like nobody’s business, many people have no idea they have it. They just keep cranking the volume on their television louder and louder.

But the effect that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be reduced with some tried and tested strategies, and that’s the good news. The first move, of course, will be to schedule a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The more prepared you are ahead of time, the easier it will be to reduce any power hearing loss could have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.

How can hearing loss effect your vacation

So how can hearing loss negatively effect your next vacation? Well, there are a number of ways. And while some of them might seem a bit trivial at first, they have a tendency to add up! Some common illustrations include the following:

  • Meaningful experiences with friends and family can be missed: Maybe your friend just told a great joke that everyone loved, except you couldn’t hear the punchline. When you have neglected hearing loss, you can miss significant (and enriching) conversations.
  • Language barriers become even more challenging: Dealing with a language barrier is already difficult enough. But understanding voices with hearing loss, especially when it’s very loud, makes it much more difficult.
  • The vibrant life of a new place can be missed: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience could be muted too. After all, your favorite vacation place is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.
  • Essential notices come in but you often miss them: Perhaps you miss your flight because you failed to hear the boarding call. This can cast your entire vacation timing into chaos.

Not surprisingly, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be lessened and decreased. Which means the proper way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction and free of stress is to take care of your hearing needs before you go.

How to get ready for your vacation when you have hearing loss

That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on a trip if you have hearing loss. That’s nowhere near the case! But it does mean that, when you’re dealing with 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 definitely practical travel advice.

You can be certain that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are some things you can do:

  • Keep your hearing aids clean: Before you head out on your travels, make sure you clean your hearing aids. This can help prevent problems from happening while you’re on your vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a smart plan.
  • Pre-planning is a smart plan: It’s okay to be spontaneous to a degree, but the more planning you do before you go, the less you’ll need to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can present more obstacles).
  • Bring extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying the first day because your batteries went dead. Always make sure you bring spares! So are you allowed to take spare batteries on a plane? The precise rules and guidelines will depend on which airline you’re using. Some kinds of batteries need to be kept in your carry-on.

Tips for traveling with hearing aids

Once all the planning and preparation is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or possibly it’s the airways. Many individuals have questions about going on a plane with hearing aids, and there are definitely some good things to understand before you head to the airport.

  • Is it ok to take a flight with hearing aids in? You won’t need to turn your hearing aids off when you get that “all electronics must be off” announcement. Having said that, you might want to enable flight mode on hearing aids that heavily rely on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. You might also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements throughout the flight that are difficult to hear.
  • If I wear my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Hearing aids are meant to be used every day, all day. So, any time you aren’t sleeping, showering, or swimming (or in an extremely noisy environment), you should be wearing your devices.
  • When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? That depends, some airports are quite noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will usually be set up in many areas of most modern airports. This is a simple wire device (although you’ll never see that wire, just look for the signs) that makes it easier for you to hear with your hearing aids, even when things are loud and chaotic.
  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I be required to take out my hearing aids? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. Having said that, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good idea. Never let your hearing aids 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.
  • Will my smartphone be useful? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is extremely helpful! You can utilize your smartphone to find 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 may be able to take some strain off your ears if you’re able to use your phone like this.
  • Should I be aware of my rights? It’s not a bad idea! Generally, it’s good to familiarize yourself with your rights before you go. Under the American Disabilities Act, people with hearing loss have many special rights. Basically, you have to have access to information. Speak with an airport official about a solution if you think you’re missing some info and they should be able to help.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are hard to predict. At times, the train can go off the rails. That’s why it’s essential to have a positive mindset and manage your vacation like you’re embracing the unexpected.

That way, when something unexpected takes place (and it will), it’ll feel like it’s all part of the plan!

But you will be caught off guard less if you put together good preparations. With the correct preparation, you can be sure you have options when something goes wrong, so an inconvenience doesn’t grow into a disaster.

For individuals with hearing loss, this preparation often begins by having your hearing tested and making sure you have the equipment and care you require. And whether you’re taking vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (relaxing on a tropical beach somewhere), this guidance will still hold.

Want to be certain you can hear the big world out there but still have concerns? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing exam!

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.

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