For you and the people you love, coping with hearing loss can be difficult to adjust to. Sometimes, it can even be unsafe.
What’s going to happen if you can’t hear a fire alarm or somebody calling your name? If you have untreated hearing loss, you won’t be able to hear those car noises that may be signaling an impending hazard.
Don’t worry about the “what ifs”. If you are dealing with untreated hearing loss, getting a hearing test is the first thing you need to do. Here are a few recommendations to help keep individuals with hearing aids and their families safer whether or not they are using their hearing aid.
1. Don’t go out by yourself
If possible, bring someone with you who isn’t dealing with hearing loss. If that isn’t possible, request that people face you when speaking to you so that you will have an easier time hearing them.
2. Avoid distractions while driving
Because you can rely on your hearing less, it’s important to minimize other distractions behind the wheel. Don’t use your phone or GPS while driving, just pull over if you need to change your route. Before you drive, if you are worried that you might have a problem with your hearing, call us for an assessment.
Don’t feel embarrassed if you have to turn off the radio or request that passengers stop talking during more decisive moments of your drive. It’s better to err on the side of caution!
3. Think about getting a service dog
For individuals who have visual impairment, epilepsy, or other problems, a service dog seems obvious. But they can also be extremely helpful to people with auditory challenges. A service dog can be trained to warn you of danger. When someone is at your door they can let you know.
Not only can they assist you with these challenges, but they also make a great companion.
4. Have a plan
Identify what you’ll do before an emergency hits. Discuss it with others. If you plan to move into the basement during a tornado, be certain 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 personnel, and your family will know where you will be if something were to happen.
5. When you’re driving, pay attention 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 tuned. You might not hear sirens so look out for flashing lights. When kids or pedestrians are around, stay extra alert.
6. Share your limitations with friends and family
No one wants to admit that they have hearing loss, but those close to you need to know. They can warn you about something you might not hear so that you can get to safety. If they don’t know that you can’t hear, they will think that you hear it too.
7. Keep your car well-maintained
As somebody living with hearing loss, you might not be able to hear unusual thumps, clicks, or screeches when you drive. These noises could point to a mechanical problem with your vehicle. If ignored, they can do long-term damage to your vehicle or put you in danger. 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. Have your hearing loss treated
If you want to stay safe, having your hearing loss treated is essential. Get your hearing assessed yearly to determine when your hearing loss is substantial enough to require an assistive device. Don’t allow pride, money, or time constraints stop you. Hearing aids these days are very functional, affordable, and unobtrusive. A hearing aid can help you remain safer in many situations at home, work, park, shopping, and driving.