Coping with hearing loss can be a difficult adjustment for you and your loved ones. In some cases, 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 hear those car noises that could be signaling an impending hazard.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you should worry about. The first thing that somebody with neglected hearing loss needs to do is get a hearing assessment. Here are some tips to help keep people with hearing aids and their loved ones safer whether or not they’re wearing their hearing aid.
1. Don’t go out by yourself
Bring somebody with healthy hearing out with you if possible. If that’s not possible, ask people to face you when speaking to you so that you will have an easier time hearing them.
2. Avoid distractions when you’re driving
Because you can depend on your hearing less, it’s essential to minimize other distractions when driving. Don’t use your phone or GPS when you’re 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 embarrassed if you need to turn off the radio or ask passengers to stop talking during more decisive moments of your drive. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Consider a service animal
For people who have loss of vision, epilepsy, or other problems, a service dog seems obvious. But they can also be really helpful to those who have auditory challenges. You can be alerted to danger by a service dog. When somebody is at your door they can let you know.
They can help you with your hearing problems and they are also great companions.
4. Make a plan
Know what you’ll do before an emergency hits. Talk to people in your life about it. If you’re planning to go into the basement during a tornado, be sure your family knows where they’ll find you. In case of a fire, choose a delegated place that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, emergency workers, and your family will know where you will be if something were to happen.
5. When you’re driving, adjust to visual cues
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has worsened. You may need to depend on your eyes more if you don’t routinely get your hearing aids calibrated. You may not hear sirens so be aware of flashing lights. When children or pedestrians are nearby, be extra attentive.
6. Let friends and family know about your hearing trouble
Nobody wants to admit that they have hearing loss, but people in your life need to know. They can warn you about something you may not hear so that you can go to safety. They probably won’t bother alerting you if they assume you hear it too.
7. Be diligent about the maintenance of your vehicle
Your car may start making peculiar sounds that your hearing loss stops you from hearing. These sounds could point to a mechanical problem with your vehicle. Your car could take significant damage and your safety might be in danger if these sounds aren’t dealt with. When you bring 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. Have your hearing tested annually to determine when your hearing loss is extensive enough to require an assistive device. Don’t let pride, money, or time constraints stop you. Modern hearing aids are discreet, functional, and very affordable. A hearing aid can help you stay safer in all aspects of your life.