For you and the people you love, living with hearing loss can be difficult to adjust to. It can also come with some dangers.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a smoke detector or someone calling your name? If you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t hear those car sounds that could be signaling an approaching hazard.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you need to stress over. The first thing that someone with neglected hearing loss needs to do is get a hearing exam. For people with hearing aids, we have some tips to help you and your family stay safe, even when you’re not likely to be wearing your hearing aids.
1. Don’t go out alone
If you can, bring someone 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. Avoid distractions when you’re driving
It’s important to remain focused when you’re driving because you can’t depend on your hearing as much for cues. Don’t use your phone or GPS while driving, just pull over if you need to change your route. Before you drive, if you are concerned that you may have a problem with your hearing, call us for an assessment.
Don’t feel embarrassed if you have to turn off the radio or ask passengers to stop talking during more critical moments of your drive. Safety first!
3. Consider a service dog
You think of service dogs as helpful for people with loss of vision, epilepsy, or other disorders. But if you’re dealing with auditory problems, they can also be very helpful. You can be alerted to danger by a service dog. They can inform you when someone is at your door.
They can assist you with your hearing problems and they are also excellent companions.
4. Have a plan
Know what you’ll do before an emergency hits. Discuss it with other people. For instance, be certain your family is aware that you will be in the basement in the case of a tornado. In case of a fire, plan a designated place that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, if something were to go wrong and you became trapped, family and emergency personnel can act rapidly to help you.
5. When you’re driving, adjust to visual clues
Your hearing loss has most likely worsened over time. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly fine-tuned, you may find yourself depending more on your eyes. You might not hear sirens so watch out for flashing lights. Be extra diligent when pedestrians are around.
6. Let family and friends know about your limitations
No one wants to admit that they have hearing impairment, but those close to you need to be aware of it. You might need to get to safety and those around you will be able to make you aware of something you might have missed. If they don’t know that you can’t hear, they will think that you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
As a person living with hearing loss, you may not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you’re driving. These can indicate a serious issue. If neglected, they can do long-term damage to your car 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. Treat your hearing loss
This is the most critical thing you can do to remain safe. In order to identify if you require a hearing aid, have your hearing examined annually. Don’t wait 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.