For you and the people you love, living with hearing loss can take some work to adjust to. In some cases, it can even be unsafe.
What happens if a fire alarm is going off or somebody is yelling out your name but you can’t hear them? Car noises can warn you about hazards ahead, but if you have neglected hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear them.
But the “what ifs” aren’t something you need to stress over. The first thing that a person with neglected hearing loss needs to do is get a hearing test. Here are some recommendations to help keep individuals 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 someone with healthy hearing out with you if you can. If that isn’t possible, ask people to face you when talking to you so you will have an easier time hearing them.
2. Stay focused when you drive
Because you can rely on your hearing less, it’s important to minimize other distractions when driving. Pull over if you need to plot a route and stay away from your phone and GPS. If you suspect you have an issue with your hearing aid, come see us before getting behind the wheel.
If there are circumstances while you’re driving that you might need to have your passengers quiet down or turn off the radio, there’s no shame. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Consider a service animal
You think of service dogs as helpful for individuals with visual impairment, epilepsy, or other disorders. But if you’re dealing with auditory issues, they can also be really helpful. You can be warned about danger by a service dog. When someone is at your door they can let you know.
They can help you with your hearing problems and they are also excellent companions.
4. Have a plan
Before an emergency comes about, prepare a plan. Talk it over it with others. If you plan 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 specified place that you’ll be outside the house.
This way, if something were to go wrong and you became trapped, family and emergency personnel can act rapidly to assist you.
5. Pay extra attention to visual cues while driving
Over time, it’s likely that your hearing loss has worsened. You may need to rely on your eyes more if you don’t regularly have your hearing aids tuned. Be alert to flashing lights on the road since you may not hear sirens. When kids or pedestrians are around, stay extra alert.
6. Let friends and family know about your hearing trouble
No one wants to admit that they have hearing impairment, but people close to you need to know. You might need to get to safety and people around you will be able to make you aware of something you might have missed. If they don’t know that you’re unable to hear, they will assume that you hear it too.
7. Be diligent about the maintenance of your vehicle
As someone living with hearing loss, you may not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you’re driving. These can signal a serious problem. Your car could take serious damage and your safety might be at risk if these sounds aren’t dealt with. It’s a good idea to ask a trustworthy mechanic for their opinion on the condition of your vehicle when you take it in for an oil change or inspection.
8. Get your hearing impairment treated
If you want to stay safe, having your hearing loss treated is essential. In order to identify if you need to get a hearing aid, get your hearing tested yearly. Don’t delay because of time constraints, money, or pride. Hearing aids today are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in many settings at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.