Coping with hearing loss can be quite an adjustment for you and your family. In some cases, it can even be unsafe.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a fire alarm or someone calling your name? Car sounds can warn you about dangers ahead, but if you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t hear them.
Don’t worry about the “what ifs”. The first thing that a person with untreated hearing loss should do is get a hearing assessment. For individuals with hearing aids, we have a few tips to help you and your loved ones remain safe, even when you aren’t likely to be wearing your hearing aids.
1. Don’t go out by yourself
Bring somebody with healthy hearing out with you if you can. If you have to go out by yourself, request that people come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Avoid distractions while driving
It’s important to stay 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. If you think you have a problem with your hearing aid, come see us before driving.
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. Think about getting a service dog
You think of service dogs as helpful for those with visual impairment, epilepsy, or other disorders. But they can also be very helpful to individuals who have auditory challenges. A service dog can be trained to warn you of hazards. They can inform you when somebody is at your door.
Not only can they help with these challenges, but they also make a terrific companion.
4. Make a plan
Before an emergency occurs, prepare a plan. Speak with people in your life about it. For instance, be certain your family knows that you will be in the basement in the case of a tornado. In case of a fire, plan a delegated place that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, if something were to happen and you became trapped, family and emergency workers can act rapidly to assist you.
5. Adjust yourself to visual cues when driving
Your hearing loss has probably gotten worse over time. You might need to depend on your eyes more if you don’t routinely get your hearing aids tuned. You might not hear sirens so be aware of flashing lights. Be extra vigilant when pedestrians are nearby.
6. Share your hearing trouble with friends and family
It may be tough to admit, but it’s essential that people in your life know about your hearing loss. They can warn you about something you might not hear so that you can get to safety. They probably won’t bother alerting you if they assume you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
As somebody living with hearing loss, you might not be able to hear strange thumps, clicks, or screeches when you drive. These can signal a serious issue. Your car could take significant damage and your safety could be in danger if these noises aren’t dealt with. When you take your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car an overall once-over.
8. Treat your hearing loss
This is the most important thing you can do to stay safe. In order to identify if you need to get a hearing aid, have your hearing screened yearly. Don’t let pride, money, or time constraints deter you. Hearing aids today are very functional, affordable, and discreet. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in all aspects of your life.