For you and the people in your life, living with hearing loss can take some work to adjust to. Sometimes, it can even be hazardous.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a smoke detector or someone yelling your name? If you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car sounds that could be signaling an approaching threat.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you should stress over. The first thing that someone with untreated hearing loss should do is get a hearing exam. For individuals who wear hearing aids, we have some tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe, even when you’re not likely to be using your hearing aids.
1. Don’t go out by yourself
Bring somebody with good hearing out with you if you can. If you need to go out alone, ask people to come closer and look at you when they talk.
2. Stay focused when you drive
It’s essential to stay focused while 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 change your route. If you suspect you have an issue with your hearing aid, come see us before getting behind the wheel.
If there are moments while you’re driving that you might need to have your passengers quiet down or turn off the radio, there’s no reason to be embarrassed. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Think about getting a service animal
For individuals who have loss of vision, epilepsy, or other problems, a service animal seems obvious. But they can also be extremely helpful to those with auditory challenges. A service dog can be trained to warn you of hazards. When somebody is at your door they can inform you.
Not only can they help with these issues, but they also make a wonderful companion.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency occurs, prepare a plan. Discuss it with others. If you’re planning to move into the basement during a tornado, be sure your family knows where they’ll find you. In case of a fire, choose a designated spot that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, emergency personnel, and your family will know where to find if something were to happen.
5. Pay extra attention to visual clues while driving
Your hearing loss has most likely worsened over time. If your hearing aids aren’t regularly adjusted, you may find yourself depending more on your eyes. Be alert to flashing lights on the road since you might not hear sirens. Be extra attentive when pedestrians are nearby.
6. Let friends and family know about your hearing trouble
It may be hard to admit, but it’s essential that people in your life know about your hearing problems. They can alert you to something you might not hear so that you can get to safety. If they don’t know that you’re unable to hear, they will assume that you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
As somebody living with hearing loss, you may not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you drive. These noises may indicate a mechanical issue with your vehicle. If disregarded, they can do long-term damage to your car or put you at risk. When you take your vehicle in for routine maintenance, ask your mechanic to give your car a general once-over.
8. Get your hearing impairment treated
This is the most important thing you can do to stay safe. In order to know if you need to get a hearing aid, have your hearing examined yearly. Don’t let pride, money, or time constraints deter you. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in many situations at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.