For you and the people in your life, living with hearing loss can be difficult to adjust to. Sometimes, it can even be hazardous.
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 threat.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you should stress over. If you are dealing with untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing test is the first thing you should do. Here are a few recommendations to help keep people with hearing aids and their families safer whether or not they are using their hearing aid.
1. Don’t go out alone
If possible, take somebody with you who isn’t dealing with hearing loss. If that’s not possible, ask people to face you when talking to you so that they are easier to hear.
2. Avoid distractions while driving
Because you can depend less on your hearing, it’s important to minimize other distractions behind the wheel. Pull off the road if you need to plot a route and stay away from your phone and GPS. 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 request that passengers stop talking during more decisive moments of your drive. Safety first!
3. Consider a service animal
You think of service animals as helpful for individuals with visual impairment, epilepsy, or other disorders. But if you’re dealing with auditory challenges, they can also be very helpful. A service dog can be trained to alert you to danger. They can let you know when someone is at your door.
They can help you with your hearing problems and they are also great companions.
4. Make a plan
Determine what you’ll do before an emergency hits. Talk to people in your life about it. If you’re planning to move into the basement during a tornado, make sure 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, if something were to go wrong and you became trapped, family and emergency workers can act rapidly to help you.
5. When you’re driving, pay attention to visual cues
Your hearing loss has likely gotten worse over time. You might need to depend on your eyes more if you don’t regularly get your hearing aids calibrated. Be alert to flashing lights on the road since you might not hear sirens. When children or pedestrians are around, stay extra attentive.
6. Let friends and family know about your limitations
It may be tough to admit, but it’s crucial that people in your life know about your hearing problems. They can alert you to something you may not hear so that you can get to safety. They most likely won’t bother alerting you if they assume you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
Your car may begin making unusual noises that your hearing loss stops you from hearing. These can signal a serious problem. If dismissed, they can do long-term damage to your car or put you in danger. It’s a smart 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. Address your hearing loss
If you want to stay safe, getting your hearing loss treated is vital. In order to identify if you need to get a hearing aid, get your hearing screened yearly. Don’t delay because of time constraints, money, or pride. Hearing aids nowadays are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in many settings at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.