Should you just sit inside and lose out on summer fun just because you can’t hear well? Chances are it’s even worse if you’re not aware of it. A few ear diseases and aging bring a slow decline of hearing which you might not even recognize. You might also stay away from doing fun summertime activities you love just because you don’t hear as well. You will still be capable of getting out and having a great time if you find some solutions to your hearing loss challenges.
Barbecuing during the summer might get difficult if you have hearing loss. For one thing, there is a lot of background noise. People are talking everywhere. On the lawn and in the pool kids are shouting and playing. There is the sound of the stuff cooking on the grill and, of course, the wonderful sounds of the natural world.
All that noise competes with any remaining hearing you may have left. Background sounds will overtake someone with hearing decline.
Try these things to compensate:
Find a quiet spot to sit to eliminate some of that overwhelming background noise. Facing away from the sun will allow you to see people when they talk and read their lips to figure out words you miss.
- You can reduce the volume of background music. Deciding not to play music is an option if you’re the host. Let the host know about your problem if you are attending someone else’s barbecue.
- Now and then just walk away. Working to hear takes a lot of energy. Step indoors and away from everyone for a few minutes each hour and go somewhere quiet to recharge.
- Let people know if you can’t hear. People will get frustrated when you try to fake it. Tell people when you can’t hear them. You can also make use of visual clues that you are struggling such as cupping your ear. Normally, people will step closer to you or speak louder to help.
Don’t attempt to hear everything. The fact that you can’t participate in every conversation is something you need to understand. Set practical limits for yourself and try to engage in small groups instead.
Do you really realize what you are missing outside? Don’t be afraid to step outside the house and focus on the sounds of nature. You won’t be able to hear everything, but with a little focus, you may be amazed by the things you can hear.
Make a game out of it and listen for:
- Birds chirping
- Insects buzzing
- Crickets at night
- Rustling leaves
- The rain falling
- People jumping in the pool or playing in the yard
- Barking dogs
- Waves splashing
Temper expectations when going outdoors, to the beach, or for a walk in the park by trying to listen to one thing at a time.
Enjoy Day Trips or Even a Much Needed Vacation
Isn’t that what summer is meant for? What kind of vacation would you enjoy? What limitations come with your hearing loss that will affect it? Sailing or fishing would be perfect but an amusement park would probably be a little too much stimulation. Head to the zoo or maybe go to a nature preserve. A museum or taking a stroll on the boardwalk next to the beach are great choices.
Don’t let your loss of hearing take away your opportunity to travel this summer. If you are flying, tell the airline that you have hearing loss when you get your ticket. Inform the hotel, too, so they can offer you a room that has accommodations for the hearing impaired such as smoke alarms with flashing lights or shaking beds and TVs that have closed captioning.
Look for methods to better yourself this summer such as taking an exercise class or learning how to paint. If you want to find a place up front, be sure to get there early. Bring a couple of friends with you and have them fill you in on what you might miss during the session.
Safety Precautions Should Be Taken This Summer
There are a couple of summer traditions that require you to take safeguards to protect yourself, your ears, and any expensive hearing assistance devices you own. Play it safe by:
- Taking care when by the pool or beach. Make sure to protect your hearing aids from water damage and use some earplugs if you go into the water to prevent ear infections.
- Don’t go on evening walks by yourself. You may not hear the warning sounds from potential hazards like oncoming traffic or maybe even a frightening stranger walking up from behind you.
- If you are attending fireworks or maybe a live performance, wear ear protection.
Try to Make The Most of it This Summer
These summer obstacles can be mostly eliminated by doing three simple things.
- Have your ears examined by a hearing specialist. It is possible that your hearing loss is treatable.
- Get a professional hearing test, to determine if you do have hearing loss.
- Get high-quality hearing aids. They can filter out any background noises so you will hear what’s important.
Having fun is what summer is all about. Don’t permit hearing loss rob you of that.