For you and the people you love, living with hearing loss can take some work to adjust to. It can also come with some perils.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a fire alarm or someone yelling your name? If you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car sounds that could be signaling an impending threat.
Don’t stress yourself out over the “what ifs”. If you are dealing with neglected hearing loss, getting a hearing test is the first thing you should do. For people who wear hearing aids, we have some tips to help you and your family stay safe, even when you aren’t likely to be wearing your hearing aids.
1. Don’t go out alone
Bring someone with good hearing out with you if possible. If that isn’t possible, request that people face you when talking to you so you will have an easier time hearing them.
2. Stay focused when you drive
It’s important to stay focused while driving because you can’t depend on your hearing as much for cues. Pull off the road if you need to plot a route and stay away from your phone and GPS. Before driving, if you are worried that you may have a problem with your hearing, call us for an evaluation.
Don’t feel ashamed if you need to turn off the radio or request that passengers stop talking during more critical moments of your drive. Safety first!
3. Think about getting a service animal
You think of service dogs as helpful for individuals with loss of vision, epilepsy, or other disorders. But if you have auditory problems, they can also be very helpful. You can be warned about danger by a service dog. They can let you know when somebody is at your door.
Not only can they assist you with these challenges, but they also make a terrific companion.
4. Have a plan
Determine what you’ll do before an emergency happens. Talk to others in your life about it. If you plan to move into the basement during a tornado, make sure your family knows where they’ll find you. Plan a specific location outside your house in the case of a fire.
This way, emergency personnel, and your family will know where you will be if something were to happen.
5. When you’re driving, pay attention to visual cues
Your hearing loss has likely gotten worse over time. You may need to depend on your eyes more if you don’t regularly have your hearing aids calibrated. You may not hear sirens so watch out for flashing lights. When children or pedestrians are nearby, be extra vigilant.
6. Share your limitations with friends and family
Nobody wants to admit that they have hearing loss, but those close to you need to know. They can alert you to something you may not hear so that you can go to safety. If they’re not aware that you’re unable to hear, they will assume that you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
As someone living with hearing loss, you may not be able to hear strange thumps, clicks, or screeches when you’re driving. These noises may point to a mechanical problem with your vehicle. Your car could take significant damage and your safety might be at risk if these noises aren’t addressed. It’s a smart idea to ask a trusted mechanic for their opinion on the condition of your vehicle when you bring it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Treat your hearing loss
If you want to stay safe, getting your hearing loss treated is crucial. Get your hearing checked yearly to determine when your hearing loss is substantial enough to require an assistive device. Don’t wait because of time constraints, money, or pride. Hearing aids these days are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in many situations at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.