Vacationing With Hearing Loss: Your Guide to a Safe, Fun Trip!

Senior couple with hearing loss watching photos from travel on digital camera during vacation

Aren’t there a couple of kinds of vacation? One type is full of activities at all times. These are the vacations that are remembered for years later and are packed with adventure, and you go back to work more worn out than you left.

Then there are the relaxing types of vacations. You may not even do much of anything on this type of vacation. Perhaps you spend a lot of time on the beach with some cocktails. Or perhaps you’re getting spoiled at some resort for your whole vacation. These types of vacations will leave you quite rested and recharged.

There’s no best to vacation. But neglected hearing loss can jeopardize whichever kind of vacation you choose.

Hearing loss can ruin a vacation

There are a few distinct ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, especially if you don’t know you have hearing loss. Many individuals who have hearing loss don’t even know they have it and it eventually sneaks up on them. The volume on all their devices just continues going higher and higher.

The nice thing is that there are a few proven ways to minimize the impact hearing loss could have on your vacation. The first move, of course, will be to schedule a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The effect that hearing loss has on your fun times will be greatly diminished the more prepared you are ahead of time.

How can your vacation be effected by hearing loss

So how can your next vacation be adversely effected by hearing loss? Well, there are a couple of ways. By themselves, they might not seem like that big of a deal. But when they begin to add up it can become a real issue. Some common illustrations include the following:

  • Important notices come in but you frequently miss them: Perhaps you miss your flight because you didn’t hear the boarding call. This can cast your entire vacation timing out of whack.
  • Special experiences with friends and family can be missed: Everyone enjoyed the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. Significant and enriching conversations can be missed when you have neglected hearing loss.
  • Language barriers are even more tricky: Coping with a language barrier is already difficult enough. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s really loud, makes it much harder.
  • The vibrant life of a new place can be missed: Your experience can be rather dull when everything you hear is muted. After all, you could miss out on the unique bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot unique and memorable.

A number of these negative situations can be prevented by simply wearing your hearing aids. So, managing your hearing needs is the ideal way to keep your vacation on track.

If you have hearing loss, how can you get ready for your vacation?

All of this doesn’t mean that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. That’s not at all the case! But with a bit of additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be fun and relatively stress-free. Of course, that’s pretty common travel advice no matter how good your hearing is.

Here are several things you can do to ensure hearing loss doesn’t negatively effect your next vacation:

  • Bring extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries quit. Always make certain you bring spares! Now, you might be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? Well, maybe, consult your airline. You may be required to store your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
  • Pre-planning is a good plan: When you need to figure things out on the fly, that’s when hearing loss can present some difficulties, so don’t be too spontaneous and plan as much as possible.
  • Keep your hearing aids clean: Before you head out on your travels, make sure you clean your hearing aids. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re much less likely to have difficulties on vacation. It’s also a good idea to make sure your suggested maintenance is current!

Hearing aid travel tips

Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the planning and preparation have been done! Or maybe it’s the airways. Before you go out to the airport, there are some things about flying with hearing aids you should definitely know about.

  • Should I know my rights? It’s not a bad idea! Generally, it’s smart to familiarize yourself with your rights before you go. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have lots of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But basically, it boils down to this: information has to be available to you. So if you think you’re missing out on some info, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they will most likely offer a solution.
  • Will I be able to hear well in an airport? How well you can hear in an airport will depend on what airport it is and what time of day. But most modern airports will have a telecoil device installed throughout many areas. This is a simple wire device (although you’ll never see that wire, just look for the signs) that makes it easier for you to hear with your hearing aids, even when things are loud and chaotic.
  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to remove my hearing aids? You won’t be required to remove your hearing aids for the security screening. That being said, letting the TSA agents know you’re wearing hearing aids is always a good idea. Don’t ever allow your hearing aids to go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can produce a static charge that can damage your hearing devices.
  • Can I use my hearing aids while I’m on the plane? You won’t need to turn off your hearing aids when you get that “all electronics must be off” spiel. But it’s a good idea to activate flight mode if your hearing aid heavily relies on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. You might also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements throughout the flight that are difficult to hear.
  • Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than usual? Most hearing specialists will suggest that you wear your hearing aids all day, every day. So, any time you aren’t in bed, taking a shower, or going for a swim (or in a really noisy setting), you should be using your devices.
  • Will my smartphone be useful? This will not be shocking, but your smartphone is really helpful! You can utilize your smartphone to get directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the correct type of hearing aid, you can use your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. You may be able to take some stress off your ears if you’re able to use your phone in this way.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Whether you have loss of hearing or not, vacations are hard to predict. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. So be prepared for the unforeseen and try to have a good mindset.

That way, when something unforeseen occurs (and it will), it’ll feel like it’s all part of the plan!

But you will be surprised less if you put together good preparations. When something goes wrong, with the right preparations, you can keep it from going out of control.

For those who have hearing loss, this preparation often starts by getting your hearing evaluated and making certain you have the hardware and care you need. And that’s the case whether you’re going to every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or taking it easy on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).

Want to be certain you can hear the big world out there but still have concerns? Give us a call today!

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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    Delaney Hearing Center

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