For you and the people you love, living with hearing loss can take some work to adjust to. In some cases, it can even be hazardous.
What happens if a smoke detector is sounding or somebody is yelling out your name but you’re unable to hear them? Car sounds can warn you about dangers ahead, but if you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear them.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you should worry about. If you are dealing with neglected hearing loss, getting a hearing exam is the first thing you should do. For people who use hearing aids, we have a few tips to help you and your loved ones remain safe, even when you aren’t likely to be using your hearing aids.
1. Take a friend with you when you leave the house
Bring somebody with healthy hearing out with you if possible. If you have to go out alone, ask people to come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Stay focused when you drive
It’s important to remain focused while 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 phone and GPS. If you think you have a problem with your hearing aid, come see us before driving.
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. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Think about getting a service dog
For individuals who have loss of vision, epilepsy, or other issues, a service animal seems obvious. But if you’re dealing with auditory challenges, they can also be very helpful. A service dog can be trained to warn you of hazards. When someone is at your door they can let you know.
They can help you with your hearing issues and they are also wonderful companions.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency happens, make a plan. Speak with people in your life about it. As an example, 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 specified location that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, emergency personnel, and your family will know where to find if something were to happen.
5. Pay extra attention to visual clues 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 routinely get your hearing aids tuned. Be alert to flashing lights on the road since you may not hear sirens. When kids or pedestrians are around, be extra alert.
6. Share your hearing trouble with family and friends
Nobody wants to disclose that they have hearing loss, but people in your life need to be aware of it. You may need to get to safety and those around you will be able to warn you about something you may have missed. They probably won’t bother alerting you if they think you hear it too.
7. Be diligent about the maintenance of your vehicle
Your car might start making peculiar sounds that your hearing loss stops you from detecting. These can signal a serious problem. If dismissed, they can do long-term damage to your vehicle or put you in danger. 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. Get your hearing loss treated
If you want to be safe, having your hearing loss treated is crucial. In order to know if you need to get a hearing aid, have your hearing tested annually. 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 remain safer in all facets of your life.