Living with hearing loss can be quite an adjustment for you and your family. It can also come with some hazards.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a fire alarm or somebody calling your name? If you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t hear those car sounds that may be signaling an impending hazard.
Don’t stress yourself out over the “what ifs”. The first thing that a person with untreated hearing loss should do is get a hearing assessment. For people who wear hearing aids, we have a few tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe, even when you’re not likely to be using your hearing aids.
1. Take a friend with you when you go out
Bring someone with good hearing out with you if you can. If you have to go out by yourself, ask people to come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Avoid distractions while driving
It’s important to remain focused when you’re driving because you can’t depend on your hearing as much for cues. Pull over if you need to plot a route and avoid your GPS and phone. If you suspect you have an issue with your hearing aid, come see us before driving.
Don’t feel embarrassed if you need 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. Consider a service dog
You think of service animals as helpful for individuals with loss of vision, epilepsy, or other conditions. But they can also be very helpful to people with auditory challenges. A service dog can be trained to alert you to danger. They can let you know when someone is at your door.
Not only can they help with these issues, but they also make a great companion.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency comes about, make a plan. Talk to others in your life about it. If you plan to go into the basement during a tornado, be certain your family knows where they’ll find you. In case of a fire, choose a specified location 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 cues while driving
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has gotten worse. You might need to rely on your eyes more if you don’t regularly get your hearing aids tuned. You might not hear sirens so be aware of flashing lights. Be extra diligent when pedestrians are around.
6. Share your hearing trouble with friends and family
It might be tough to admit, but it’s important that people in your life are aware of your hearing problems. They can alert you to something you might not hear so that you can go 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 a person living with hearing loss, you may not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you’re driving. These can indicate a serious issue. Your car could take serious damage and your safety might 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 bring it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Get your hearing impairment treated
If you want to stay safe, having your hearing loss treated is essential. Get your hearing assessed annually to determine when your hearing loss is substantial enough to require an assistive device. Don’t let pride, money, or time constraints deter you. Hearing aids today are very functional, affordable, and discreet. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in many settings at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.