For you and the people you love, coping with hearing loss can be difficult to adjust to. It can also come with some dangers.
What happens if a smoke detector is going off or someone is yelling out your name but you can’t hear them? 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 need to worry about. If you have untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing exam is the first thing you should do. For individuals who use hearing aids, we have some tips to help you and your family remain safe, even when you’re not likely to be wearing your hearing aids.
1. Don’t go out alone
Bring someone with healthy hearing out with you if you can. If that’s not possible, ask people to face you when speaking to you so that they are easier to hear.
2. Stay focused when you drive
It’s essential to remain focused when you’re driving because you can’t depend on your hearing as much for cues. Pull over if you need to plot a route and stay away from your phone and GPS. Before driving, if you are concerned that you may have an issue with your hearing, call us for an evaluation.
Don’t feel embarrassed if you have 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. Consider a service dog
You think of service animals as helpful for those with visual impairment, epilepsy, or other disorders. But they can also be very helpful to individuals who have auditory challenges. You can be alerted to danger by a service dog. When someone is at your door they can inform you.
Not only can they assist you with these problems, but they also make a great companion.
4. Make a plan
Before an emergency happens, make a plan. Discuss it with other people. If you’re planning to move into the basement during a tornado, be certain your family knows where they’ll find you. Plan a specific location outside your house in the case of a fire.
This way, emergency workers, and your family will know where to find if something were to happen.
5. When you’re driving, pay attention to visual clues
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has gotten worse. You might need to depend on your eyes more if you don’t routinely have your hearing aids calibrated. You may not hear sirens so watch out for flashing lights. When children or pedestrians are nearby, be extra attentive.
6. Let friends and family know about your hearing trouble
Nobody wants to admit that they have hearing loss, but those in your life need to know. You might need to get to safety and people around you will be able to make you aware of something you may have missed. If they’re not aware that you’re unable to hear, they will assume that you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
As somebody living with hearing loss, you might not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you drive. These can indicate a serious problem. If ignored, they can do long-term damage to your vehicle or put you at risk. It’s a good 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. Treat your hearing loss
If you want to stay safe, having your hearing loss treated is vital. Get your hearing checked yearly to determine when your hearing loss is extensive 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 remain safer in all aspects of your life.