Vacationing With Hearing Loss: Your Guide to a Safe, Enjoyable Trip!

Senior couple with hearing loss watching photos from travel on digital camera during vacation

There are a couple of kinds of vacations, right? There’s the kind where you jam every single recreation you can into every waking minute. This type will leave you more tired than when you left but all of the adventures will be recalled for many years to come.

Then there are the relaxing types of vacations. You might not even do much of anything on this type of vacation. Perhaps you drink some wine. Maybe you spend a day (or two, or three) at the beach. Or perhaps you’re getting spoiled at some resort for your entire vacation. These are the peaceful and relaxing types of vacations.

Everyone has their own idea of the perfect vacation. Whichever method you choose, however, neglected hearing loss can put your vacation at risk.

Hearing loss can ruin a vacation

There are some unique ways that hearing loss can make a vacation more difficult, particularly if you don’t recognize you have hearing loss. Many individuals who have hearing loss don’t even know they have it and it eventually sneaks up on them. The volume on all their devices just continues going up and up.

The good news is that there are a few proven ways to lessen the impact hearing loss could have on your vacation. Making an appointment for a hearing exam is definitely the first step. The more prepared you are before you go, the easier it will be to lessen any power hearing loss could have over your fun, rest, and relaxation.

How can hearing loss effect your vacation

So how can your next vacation be adversely impacted by hearing loss? There are actually a small number of ways as it turns out. Individually, they might not seem like that big of a deal. But when they start to add up it can become a real problem. Here are a few common examples:

  • Special experiences with friends and family can be missed: Everyone enjoyed the great joke that your friend just told, but unfortunately, you didn’t hear the punchline. When you have untreated hearing loss, you can miss important (and enriching) conversations.
  • You can miss out on the vibrancy of a new place: Your experience can be rather lackluster when everything you hear is dull. After all, your favorite vacation place is alive with unique sounds, like bustling street sounds or singing birds.
  • Essential notices come in but you frequently miss them: Maybe you’re waiting for your train or plane to board, but you never hear the announcement. This can throw your entire vacation timing into chaos.
  • Getting beyond language barriers can be overwhelming: It’s difficult enough to deal with a language barrier. But understanding voices with hearing loss, particularly when it’s very loud, makes it much harder.

A number of these negative outcomes can be prevented by simply wearing your hearing aids. So, taking care of your hearing requirements is the ideal way to keep your vacation moving in the right direction.

If you have hearing loss, how can you get ready for your vacation?

That doesn’t mean that you can’t go on vacation if you have hearing loss. Not by any Means! But it does mean that, when you have hearing loss, a little bit of added planning and preparation, can help ensure your vacation goes as easily as possible. Whether or not you have hearing loss, this is definitely practical travel advice.

You can be certain that hearing loss won’t have a negative impact on your vacation, here are some things you can do:

  • Pack extra batteries: There’s nothing worse than your hearing aid dying on day 1 because your batteries died. Always make sure you bring spares! Now, you may be thinking: can I bring spare batteries in my luggage? Well, possibly, consult your airline. You might be required to store your batteries in your carry-on depending on the kind of battery.
  • Keep your hearing aids clean: Before you leave on your travels, be certain that you clean your hearing aids. If you have clean hearing aids, you’re less likely to have troubles on vacation. It’s also a good plan to make certain your recommended maintenance is up to date!
  • Do some pre-planning: When you have to figure things out as you go, that’s when hearing loss can present some challenges, so don’t be overly spontaneous and prepare as much as possible.

Hearing aid travel tips

Once all the planning and preparation is done, it’s time to hit the road! Or, well, the airways, maybe. Many people have questions about going on a plane with hearing aids, and there are definitely some good things to know before you go to the airport.

  • Is it ok to wear my hearing aids longer than normal? Hearing aids are designed to be worn every day, all day. So you should be wearing your hearing aids whenever you aren’t in a really noisy place, swimming, or showering.
  • How useful is my smartphone? This will not be surprising, but your smartphone is extremely useful! After you land, you can utilize this device to change the settings on your hearing aid (if you have the right kind of hearing aid), get directions to your destination, and even translate foreign languages. If your phone is capable of doing all that (and you know how to use all those apps), it may take some stress off your ears.
  • When I go through the TSA security checkpoint, will I need to remove my hearing aids? You can wear your hearing aids through the security screening process. It’s generally a good idea to let the TSA agents know you’re wearing them. If there is any type of conveyor belt or X-ray machines, make sure your hearing aids do not go through that belt. Conveyor-belt style X-ray machines can generate a static charge that can damage your hearing devices.
  • Will I be able to hear well in an airport? That will depend, some airports are very noisy during certain times of the day. But a telecoil device will normally be installed 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 noisy and chaotic.
  • Can I use my hearing aids while I’m on the plane? You won’t have to turn your hearing aids off when you get that “all electronics must be off” spiel. Having said that, you might want to activate flight mode on hearing aids that rely heavily on wifi or Bluetooth connectivity. You may also want to let the flight attendants know you have hearing loss, as there may be announcements throughout the flight that are hard to hear.
  • Should I know my rights? Before you leave it’s not 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 amounts to this: information has to be available 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 a solution.

Vacations are one of life’s many adventures

Whether you have loss of hearing or not, vacations are hard to predict. At times, the train can go off the rails. So be prepared for the unforeseen and try to have a good mindset.

That way you’ll still feel like your plans are moving in the right direction even when the inevitable obstacle arises.

But you will be caught off guard less if you put together good preparations. With the correct preparation, you can be sure you have options when something goes awry, so an inconvenience doesn’t turn into a catastrophe.

For individuals who have hearing loss, this preparation often starts by getting your hearing tested and making sure you have the hardware and care you require. And that’s the case whether you’re visiting every museum in New York City (vacation type number one) or lounging around on a beach in Mexico (vacation type number two).

Want to make sure you can hear the big world out there but still have concerns? Make an appointment with us for a hearing exam!

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.