For you and the people in your life, living with hearing loss can take some work to adjust to. In some cases, it can even be unsafe.
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 be able to hear those car noises that may be signaling an impending threat.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you need to stress over. If you are dealing with untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing test is the first thing you should do. Here are some tips to help keep individuals with hearing aids and their families safer whether or not they are wearing their hearing aid.
1. Don’t go out by yourself
If possible, take someone with you who is not dealing with hearing loss. If that isn’t possible, request that people face you when talking to you so that they are easier to hear.
2. Stay focused when you drive
It’s important to stay focused when you’re driving because you can’t rely on your hearing as much for cues. Don’t use your phone or GPS while driving, just pull over if you need to reroute. If you think you have a problem with your hearing aid, come see us before getting behind the wheel.
Don’t feel ashamed if you need to turn off the radio or request that passengers stop talking during more critical moments of your drive. Safety first!
3. Think about getting a service animal
You think of service animals as helpful for those with loss of vision, epilepsy, or other conditions. But they can also be extremely helpful to those with auditory challenges. You can be warned about danger by a service dog. They can inform you when someone is at your door.
Not only can they assist you with these issues, but they also make a terrific companion.
4. Make a plan
Before an emergency occurs, prepare a plan. Discuss it with others. If you plan to go into the basement during a tornado, be sure your family knows where they’ll find you. Plan a specific location outside your house in the case of a fire.
This way, emergency personnel, and your family will know where to find if something were to go wrong.
5. Pay extra attention to visual cues when driving
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has worsened. You might need to depend on your eyes more if you don’t routinely have your hearing aids tuned. Be alert to flashing lights on the road since you may not hear sirens. When kids or pedestrians are around, be extra vigilant.
6. Let friends and family know about your hearing trouble
It might be hard to admit, but it’s crucial that people in your life know about your hearing loss. They can alert you to something you might not hear so that you can go to safety. If they’re not aware that you’re unable to hear, they will think that you hear it too.
7. Be diligent about the maintenance of your vehicle
As a person living with hearing loss, you might not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you’re driving. These sounds may point to a mechanical issue with your vehicle. If disregarded, they can do long-term damage to your vehicle or put you in danger. When you take your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car a general once-over.
8. Get your hearing loss treated
This is the most imperative thing you can do to remain safe. In order to know if you need to get a hearing aid, have your hearing screened annually. Don’t hesitate because of time constraints, money, or pride. Hearing aids nowadays are very functional, affordable, and discreet. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in all aspects of your life.