Living with hearing loss can be quite an adjustment for you and your family. It can also come with some perils.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a smoke detector or someone yelling your name? Car sounds can signal hazards ahead, but if you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t hear them.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you should stress over. If you have untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing exam is the first thing you need to do. Here are a few tips to help keep individuals with hearing aids and their families safer whether or not they are using their hearing aid.
1. Don’t go out alone
If you can, bring somebody with you who isn’t struggling to hear. If that’s not possible, request that people face you when talking to you so they are easier to hear.
2. Stay focused when you’re driving
It’s essential to remain focused when you’re driving because you can’t rely on your hearing as much for cues. Pull off the road 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 getting behind the wheel.
If there are times while you’re driving that you might need to have your passengers quiet down or turn off the radio, there’s no reason to be embarrassed. Safety first!
3. Think about getting a service animal
For individuals who have loss of vision, epilepsy, or other issues, a service animal seems obvious. But if you’re dealing with auditory issues, they can also be very helpful. You can be alerted to danger by a service dog. They can inform you when somebody is at your door.
They can assist you with your hearing issues and they are also wonderful companions.
4. Make a plan
Before an emergency occurs, make a plan. Talk it over it with others. For example, be certain your family knows that you will be in the basement if a tornado hits. In case of a fire, plan a designated 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. Adjust yourself to visual clues while driving
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has worsened. You might need to rely on your eyes more if you don’t regularly have your hearing aids calibrated. You may not hear sirens so look out for flashing lights. When kids or pedestrians are nearby, stay extra vigilant.
6. Let friends and family know about your hearing trouble
It may be hard to admit, but it’s essential that people in your life are aware of your hearing issues. They can warn you about something you might not hear so that you can go to safety. They most likely won’t bother alerting you if they think you hear it too.
7. Be vigilant about the maintenance of your vehicle
Your car might begin making unusual sounds that your hearing loss stops you from detecting. These sounds could suggest a mechanical problem with your vehicle. If disregarded, they can do long-term damage to your car or put you at risk. When you take your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car a general once-over.
8. Have your hearing impairment treated
If you want to be safe, getting your hearing loss treated is essential. Have your hearing tested yearly to determine when your hearing loss is substantial enough to require an assistive device. Don’t allow pride, money, or time constraints stop you. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in many situations at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.