There are a couple of kinds of vacations, right? There’s the kind where you cram every single recreation you can into every single second. This kind will leave you more tired than when you left but all of the fun will be remembered for many years to come.
Then there are the relaxing kinds of vacations. These are the trips where you might not do, well, much of anything. Perhaps you drink a bit of wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or perhaps you’re getting spoiled at some resort for your whole vacation. These kinds of vacations will leave you really rested and recharged.
Everybody has their own concept of the perfect vacation. But untreated hearing loss can put a damper on whichever type of vacation you choose.
Hearing loss can ruin a vacation
Your vacation can become a difficulty if you have hearing loss, particularly if you don’t know you have it. Look, hearing loss can sneak up on you like nobody’s business, many individuals have no idea they have it. The volume on all their devices just continues going up and up.
But the effect that hearing loss can have on a vacation can be minimized with some tried and tested methods, and that’s the good news. The first move, of course, will be to make an appointment for a hearing screening if you haven’t already. The more ready you are before you go, the easier it will be to diminish any power hearing loss might have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.
How can your vacation be impacted by hearing loss
So how can hearing loss negatively effect your next vacation? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. By themselves, they may not seem like that big of a deal. But when they start to add up it can become a real issue. Here are a few common examples:
- You can miss out on the radiance of a new place: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience could be muted also. After all, you could fail to hear the unique bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot unique and memorable.
- You miss crucial notices: Maybe you’re waiting for your train or aircraft to board, but you don’t ever hear the announcement. And as a consequence, your whole vacation schedule is cast into total disarray.
- You can miss important moments with friends and family: Maybe your friend just told a great joke that everybody loved, except you couldn’t make out the punchline. When you have untreated hearing loss, you can miss important (and enriching) conversations.
- Getting beyond language barriers can be frustrating: Dealing with a language barrier is already hard enough. But deciphering voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s really loud, makes it much more difficult.
Some of these negative situations can be avoided by simply using your hearing aids. So, taking care of your hearing requirements is the ideal way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.
How to get ready for your vacation when you have hearing loss
All of this doesn’t mean that hearing loss makes a vacation unachievable. That’s nowhere near true! But it does mean that, when you have hearing loss, a little bit of additional planning and preparation, can help ensure your vacation goes as smoothly as possible. Of course, that’s rather common travel advice regardless of how strong your hearing is.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure hearing loss doesn’t negatively effect your next vacation:
- Do some pre-planning: It’s okay to remain spontaneous to a degree, but the more planning you do ahead of time, the less you’ll have to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can introduce more difficulties).
- Clean your hearing aids: It’s a smart plan to make certain your hearing aids are clean and functioning properly before you get on a plane, train, or automobile. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re much less likely to have troubles on vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their scheduled maintenance is also a smart plan.
- Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids quit on the first day is no fun! Don’t forget to bring some spare batteries. Now, you may be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? Well, possibly, check with your airline. You may need to store your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
Tips for traveling with hearing aids
Once all the preparation and planning is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or, well, the airways, possibly. Before you head out to the airport, there are a few things about flying with hearing aids you should definitely know about.
- How useful is my smartphone? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is really useful! You can use your smartphone to find directions to your destination, translate foreign languages, and if you have the right type of hearing aid, you can utilize your smartphone to adjust your settings to your new environment. If your phone is capable of doing all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it may take some strain off your ears.
- When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to remove my hearing aids? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. It’s generally a good idea to tell the TSA agents that you’re wearing them. If there is any kind of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, be certain that your hearing aids do not go through that belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can generate a static charge that can damage your hearing aids.
- Can I wear my hearing aids while I’m on the plane? When they announce that it’s time to turn off your electronic devices, you won’t be required to turn your hearing aids off. But it’s a good plan to activate flight mode if your hearing aid heavily relies on Bluetooth connectivity or wifi. You might also want to tell the flight attendants you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements throughout the flight that are difficult to hear.
- Should I know my rights? Before you travel it’s not a bad plan to get familiar with your rights. If you’re dealing with hearing loss, you’ll have lots of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Basically, you must have access to information. Talk to an airport official about a solution if you suspect you’re missing some info and they will most likely be able to help.
- When I’m in the airport, how well will I be able to hear? That will depend, some airports are very noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will usually be installed in many areas of most modern airports. This is a basic 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 noisy and chaotic.
- Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than normal? Most hearing specialists will recommend that you wear your hearing aids all day, every day. So, any time you aren’t sleeping, showering, or swimming (or in an extremely noisy setting), you should be wearing your devices.
Vacations are one of life’s many adventures
Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are unpredictable. Not everything is going to go the way you planned it all the time. So be prepared for the unforeseen and try to have a positive mindset.
That way, when something unexpected takes place (and it will), it’ll feel like it’s all part of the plan!
But you will be caught off guard less if you make good preparations. When something goes amiss, with the correct preparations, you can keep it from going out of control.
Getting a hearing exam and making certain you have the correct equipment is commonly the start of that preparation for individuals with hearing loss. And whether you’re on vacation number one (sightseeing in the city), or vacation number two (relaxing on a tropical beach somewhere), this advice will still hold.
Still have some questions or concerns? Make an appointment with us for a hearing exam!