Aren’t there a couple of types of vacation? There’s the kind where you jam every single activity you can into every single minute. These are the vacations that are remembered for years later and are packed with adventure, and you go back to work more worn out than you left.
The other kind is all about unwinding. These are the trips where you may not do, well, much of anything. Perhaps you drink some wine. Perhaps you spend a day (or two, or three) on the beach. Or perhaps you’re getting pampered at some resort for your entire vacation. These kinds of vacations will leave you really rested and recharged.
Everybody has their own idea of the perfect vacation. Whichever way you choose, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation in jeopardy.
Hearing loss can spoil a vacation
Your vacation can become a challenge if you have hearing loss, especially if you’re not aware of it. Look, hearing loss can creep up on you like nobody’s business, many individuals have no clue they have it. They just keep cranking the volume on their tv louder and louder.
The good news is that there are a few proven ways to minimize the impact hearing loss might have on your vacation. Making an appointment for a hearing test is obviously the first step. The more prepared you are ahead of time, the easier it will be to minimize any power hearing loss might have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.
How can your vacation be effected by hearing loss
So how can hearing loss negatively impact your next vacation? Well, there are a couple of ways. And while some of them may seem a bit trivial at first, they have a tendency to add up! Some common examples include the following:
- Special moments with friends and relatives can be missed: Everyone enjoyed the funny joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. Important and enriching conversations can be missed when you have untreated hearing loss.
- The radiant life of a new place can be missed: When what you’re hearing is muted, your experience could be muted as well. After all, you could miss out on the distinctive bird calls or humming traffic noises that make your vacation spot unique and memorable.
- Getting past language barriers can be overwhelming: It’s hard enough to overcome a language barrier. But understanding voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s really noisy, makes it much more difficult.
- Essential notices come in but you frequently miss them: Maybe you miss your flight because you didn’t hear the boarding call. This can throw your entire vacation timing out of whack.
Not surprisingly, if you’re wearing your hearing aids, some of these negative impacts can be mitigated and minimized. So, managing your hearing needs is the best way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.
If you have hearing loss, how can you get ready for your vacation?
All of this isn’t to say that hearing loss makes a vacation impossible. That’s not at all the case! But with a little additional planning and preparation, your vacation can still be fun and relatively hassle-free. Of course, that’s rather common travel advice regardless of how good your hearing is.
You can be sure that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are some things you can do:
- Clean your hearing aids: It’s a good plan to make certain your hearing aids are clean and functioning properly before you jump on a plane, train, or automobile. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re much less likely to have difficulties on vacation. Keeping your hearing aids on their regular maintenance is also a good plan.
- Do some pre-planning: It’s okay to be spontaneous to a degree, but the more planning you do beforehand, the less you’ll have to figure things out on the fly (and that’s when hearing loss can introduce more obstacles).
- Bring extra batteries: Having your hearing aids quit on the first day is the worst! Always make sure you bring spares! Now, you might be thinking: can I have spare batteries in my luggage? The exact rules and guidelines will depend on which airline you’re using. Some kinds of batteries must be stored in your carry-on.
Hearing aid travel tips
Finally, it’s time to hit the road now that all the preparation and planning have been done! Or, well, the airways, possibly. Many individuals have questions about going on a plane with hearing aids, and there are definitely some good things to know before you head to the airport.
- Will I be able to hear well in an airport? That depends, some airports are quite noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will usually be set up 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 loud and chaotic.
- How helpful is my smartphone? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is extremely useful! You can utilize your smartphone to get 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. You might be able to take some stress off your ears if you’re able to use your phone in this way.
- Can I use my hearing aids 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 may also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there could be announcements throughout the flight that are difficult to hear.
- If I wear my hearing aids more than usual, is that ok? Hearing aids are designed to be used every day, all day. So, any time you aren’t in bed, showering, or going for a swim (or in a super noisy setting), you should be using your devices.
- Do I have some rights I should know about? Before you travel it’s never a bad idea to become familiar with your rights. If you have hearing loss, you’ll have lots of rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. But essentially, it comes down to this: information has to be accessible to you. So if you think you’re missing out on some information, let an airport official know that you have hearing loss and they should offer help.
- Do I need to take out my hearing aids when I go through TSA security? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. It’s usually a good plan to let the TSA agents know you’re wearing them. Never let your hearing aids go through an X-ray machine or conveyor belt. Your hearing aids can be damaged by the static charge that these conveyor type X-ray devices produce.
Life is an adventure, and that includes vacations
Whether you have hearing loss or not, vacations are unpredictable. Sometimes, the train can go off the rails. So be prepared for the unforeseen and try to have a positive mindset.
That way, when something unexpected occurs (and it will), it’ll seem like it’s all part of the plan!
However, the other side to that is that preparation can make a difference. With the correct preparation, you can make sure you have options when something goes awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a disaster.
Having a hearing examination and making sure you have the correct equipment is commonly the beginning of that preparation for people with hearing loss. And that’s accurate whether you’re visiting every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or hanging out on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).
Still have some questions or concerns? Schedule an appointment with us for a hearing test!