Living with hearing loss can be a difficult adjustment for you and your family. It can also come with some perils.
What happens if a fire alarm is going off or someone is shouting out your name but you’re unable to hear them? Car noises can warn you about hazards ahead, but if you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear them.
Don’t worry about the “what ifs”. The first thing that somebody with neglected hearing loss should do is get a hearing exam. Here are a few recommendations to help keep people with hearing aids and their families safer whether or not they are using their hearing aid.
1. Bring a friend with you when you go out
If you can, take someone with you who is not dealing with hearing loss. If that isn’t possible, request that people face you when speaking to you so that they are easier to hear.
2. Avoid distractions when you’re driving
It’s important to stay focused while driving because you can’t depend on your hearing as much for cues. Pull off the road if you need to plot a route and avoid your phone and GPS. If you think you have an issue with your hearing aid, come see us before driving.
Don’t feel embarrassed if you need to turn off the radio or ask passengers to stop talking during more critical moments of your drive. Safety first!
3. Think about getting a service animal
For people who have loss of vision, epilepsy, or other problems, a service animal seems obvious. But they can also be extremely helpful to individuals who have auditory issues. You can be alerted to danger by a service dog. When someone is at your door they can let you know.
Not only can they assist you with these problems, but they also make a wonderful companion.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency takes place, make a plan. Speak with people in your life about it. For instance, be sure your family knows that you will be in the basement in the case of a tornado. In case of a fire, choose a delegated spot that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, emergency workers, and your family will know where to find if something were to happen.
5. Pay extra attention to visual cues when driving
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has gotten worse. You might need to rely on your eyes more if you don’t routinely get your hearing aids tuned. You might not hear sirens so look out for flashing lights. When children or pedestrians are nearby, be extra attentive.
6. Let friends and family know about your limitations
Nobody wants to admit that they have hearing loss, but those in your life 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. They most likely won’t bother alerting you if they think you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
Your car might start making peculiar sounds that your hearing loss stops you from detecting. These noises could point to a mechanical issue with your vehicle. Your car could take significant damage and your safety might be at risk if these sounds aren’t dealt with. It’s a good idea to ask a trusted mechanic for their opinion on the condition of your vehicle when you take it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Address your hearing loss
This is the most imperative thing you can do to remain safe. In order to identify if you need to get a hearing aid, get your hearing screened annually. Don’t hesitate because of time constraints, money, or pride. Hearing aids nowadays are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in many settings at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.